Tekhne – Artful Technology, Article 7 (Flickr)
1913 Baseball Photos from the Library of Congress Flickr Project
The following is from a series of articles I wrote for the education section of the Central Oregonian.
Lifelong Learning and Lifelong Sharing
It’s the month of April and, at our house, that means it’s the month of running back and forth between the baseball diamonds in town. It’s also the month that the Library of Congress added another batch of historical photos to its Flickr Photo Project, including ones from the 1912 baseball season.
The project is exciting. It not only provides access to great photos from our national history, but also represents the positive, collaborative nature of the Internet. Flickr is a photo-sharing Web site. Anyone can join for free and post photos to share with friends or the general public. More importantly, users can add tags (labels) to photos to help identify and organize them. This is where it intersects with the Library of Congress.
The Library contains over 14 million prints and photos. Many have incomplete or incorrect identifications. To improve those identifications, the Library is seeking public input on approximately 3,000 of the most popular archive photos. Since January 2008, when they began the project with Flickr, the Library has improved dozens of records.
Social tagging and public knowledge projects allow us to learn from and share with each other. And we each have something to contribute. Many of the projects, like the Library of Congress/Flickr Project, involve photos or artwork. The Encyclopedia of Life, however, has the grand ambition of organizing all we know about life on our planet. And the Peer-to-Patent Project assists the backlogged US Patent and Trademark Office by collecting user input on prior inventions.
These specific projects are narrower versions of the general information sharing and organization that is happening in projects like Wikipedia, Del.icio.us, LibraryThing, Mahalo, and Magnolia. Each of these harnesses our collective knowledge: one part subject expert and one part wisdom of crowds.
Crook County students are growing up and learning in this information-sharing environment. They are already contributing to a greater understanding of the world and shaping the future of collaborative learning. We encourage them to share what they know with each other, their teachers, and the world. I encourage you to do the same.
Library of Congress/Flickr Commons
Here’s a snapshot of the original article: