Need to find a way to show off your special collections? Want researchers from your institution as well as around the world to utilize your photos and artifacts? Flickr is a great tool for doing this. Flickr is a social image sharing website that allows you to show off photos and images to a much wider audience than simply putting your materials on your special collection website.
Flickr works like this:
- Set up an account with a name related to the collection or institution.
- Upload your images to that account
- Organize your images in related collection sets
- Tag your images with a variety of terms that help users locate your material.
- Don’t forget about copyright! Flickr allows you to attach a Creative Commons license to your work or to specify that all rights are reserved.
- Watch your images’ tags and notes grow as people find and use your collection.
The Library of Congress is a great example of an institution that successful utilized Flickr for a special collection. In January 2008, the Library of Congress started their Flickr debut with about 3,000 images. After only 24 hours and a lot of publicity, their collection had a total of 1.1 million views! (See: For the Common Good: The Library of Congress Flickr Pilot Project) The Library of Congress encourages viewers to add tags and make notes on the images, therefore making their collection and its organization a social project. Some other institutions utilizing Flickr for their special collections include:
- University of Maryland Baltimore County
- Iowa State University
- University of Tulsa- McFarlin Library
- William and Mary’s Swem Library