2.6 million public domain images, all taken from books, magazines and newspapers published over a 500 year period – up to 1922 when copyright kicks in – can now be searched on the internet. The image on the right is one of the oldest in the collection dated 1502
Other projects have digitized books, focusing on text. This project concentrates on images. Kayleev Leetaru, the American academic who began the work at Georgetown University as part of a fellowship sponsored by Yahoo, who own Flickr said “For all these years all the libraries have been digitizing their books, but they have been putting them up as PDFs or text searchable works.” “They have been focusing on the books as a collection of words. This inverts that.” It is anticipated that the archive will grow to 14.6 million images.
There’s now even more pictures of cats on the internet
The Flickr project draws on 600 million pages that were originally scanned by the Internet Archive. It uses special software to extract images from those pages, plus the text that surrounds the images. The page associated with the image tells you where the image comes from. It’s all fascinating
To search the archive, from the home page, you can do a keyword search. As you fill in the keyword, Flickr autopopulates the box with the words “Internet Archive Book Images’ Photostream.” Click on those autopopulated words, or else the search results will include images from other parts of Flickr.
Or go to the interior page and do a search which brings up results from the book image archive only. All images can be downloaded for free a they’re all public domain.