Welcome back! Our first fall post about open source images

Eleven different specimen of the family of weasels.

Around here, summer’s waning into a beautiful fall. Our classes started August 20th, so incredibly enough we’ve just started Week 5!

As I get back into the busy bustle that is fall semester at IU, I thought I’d share a couple of tidbits for my Reference and Information Services compatriots, to do with open-source image databases.

A few days ago, Janine Henry from UCLA shared an article from the Guardian about Europeana, the main portal for digitized cultural heritage items across the European Union, with art, film, musical recordings, literature, and the like, representing works from over 2,200 cultural institutions. Europeana recently announced that they would open up licensing restrictions on the material, some 20 million items, so that anyone can use the material for any purpose, be it scholarly, commercial or otherwise. Great news!

Things in America are slowly changing too. Yale University, for example announced in May 2011 that they would be foll0wing an Open Access Policy. Earlier this year, the National Gallery of Art has also opened up access to their images.

For more information on how Europeana’s announcement and the current state of digitization among cultural institutions, check out the slides from this lecture. Here’s hoping that this trend will keep gaining momentum!


Image info: Thomas Brown after William Warwick. Eleven different specimen of the family of weasels. Accessed from the Europeana Digital Library. Credit: Wellcome Library, London. http://images.wellcome.ac.uk/indexplus/image/V0020924ER.html (accessed September 17, 2012).


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