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VCU Libraries has been named as the 100th institution to take part in Flickr’s The Commons, an online project that seeks to share hidden treasures from the world’s public photography archives.

As part of The Commons, VCU Libraries’ digital special and archival image collections that have no known copyright restrictions will be discoverable through the photo-sharing website Flickr, as well as through search tools that pull public domain images without known copyright restrictions for us and reuse.
“It’s pretty significant,” said Lauren Work, digital collections librarian. “VCU Libraries will be joining an international group of institutions with the goal to increase public access to image collections that have no known copyright restrictions, which connects directly to our educational mission.”
Joining The Commons will greatly increase the discoverability and potential use of VCU Libraries’ image collections. It will also allow the public to share their knowledge of the images, potentially enriching the collections with comments and tags.
“Flickr has millions of registered users, and various search tools pull content from Flickr Commons,” Work said. “These factors greatly expand the potential for the use of our collections.”
VCU Libraries is starting out with these four collections to introduce itself to The Commons and to reflect  the diversity of its collections.
The initial collections will include:
·    Jackson Ward Historic District, a series of photographs documenting Richmond’s historic Jackson Ward neighborhood.

·    Rarely Seen Richmond, a collection of over 600 postcard images of Richmond, most dating from 1900 through 1930.

·    PS Magazine, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly, an Army publication on preventive maintenance that features the artwork of comics artist Will Eisner, who served as the magazine’s artistic director from its inception in 1951 through 1972.

·    Baist Atlas of Richmond, Va. (1889), a digitized version of “The Atlas of the City of Richmond” that was compiled and published in 1889 and serves as a valuable resource for researchers and others interested in Richmond’s urban archeology, architectural history and historic preservation.

·    The Newlyweds and Their Baby, which was the first American family newspaper strip. It was created in 1904 by George McManus and published in New York World, and centered around an elegant young couple and their baby Snookums.

Work said VCU Libraries intends to add other existing digital collections, as well as future collections that have no known copyright restrictions.

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Image: Joe’s Dope Sheet (Issue 052 1957 page024_page025), Flickr Commons

Categories History, Special Collections and Archives
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