Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Archives Flickr Project Launched

Back in February our archives set up a Flickr account and started uploading photos to prepare for Alumni Weekend. We’ve talked for a long time about doing some kind of photo identification project to get names on some of the thousands of pictures we have before they can’t be identified.

When the Library of Congress uploaded photos to Flickr, we decided to follow suit. Since February we uploaded, tagged and described over 700 EKU images. We created sets so users could find images of interest more easily, sorting photos by decade and by topic. There are some mistakes that still need to be corrected, it’s easy to flip a negative and scan it backwards. There are some typos and a couple misidentifications, but those problems are easily corrected. We have a couple Flickr problems; for example, you can add a note to some photos, but not all. It is a global setting, so we can’t figure out why it doesn’t always work.

The test came this past weekend. It was Alumni Weekend and we had three opportunities to showcase the project. We made up cards with a direct link so that anyone interested could go straight to our photostream from home.

Friday night before the Scholarship Dinner we set up three laptops with Flickr slideshows and talked to everyone who stopped. Cards were passed out and most people we talked to seemed really interested.

Saturday we set up at the Alumni Breakfast and talked to alumni for several hours before lunch and again in the archives that afternoon. One of the Pioneer Club inductees was the Milestone photographer for the 57 and 58 yearbooks. He was really excited to see some of his photos on Flickr and promised to make as many IDs as he could. Sunday we showcased the project to Friends of the Library.

Tiring weekend, but we got a lot of great feedback, including identifications on several photos we had posted. Before the weekend, our photostream had been viewed about 1150 times, Monday morning that had jumped to 1246 views.

One of our students spent a couple months adding a series of negatives from the 1950s to our photo database and is now scanning some of the late 1950s images to add to Flickr. We chose these years to concentrate on, since most of the alumni we spoke with were there for their 50th reunion. Later we’ll add more from other decades and see how it goes.

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