Online Northwest 2010: Free online visual image databases

Visual Resources on a Budget: Image Databases on the Open Web
Tricia Juettemeyer, Art Institute of Portland
Dan McClure, Pacific Northwest College of Art

Came in a bit late, we’re past Flickr Creative Commons and on to MorgueFile.  Dan’s searching for images of homeless people, grasshoppers, etc.  Showing us the metadata (license summaries, user comments, keyword information) and download options.  Search limiters on left hand side of screen for search results.  Can limit by color!

Morgue File color limit is a federated search of stock photos.  Tricia recommends advanced search:  searches across Flickr, Stock Exchange, NASA, etc.  Can limit by license i.e. only public domain images or attribution licenses.  Can see resolutions and availability right away, can be linked to license information immediately from each image.

EveryStockPhoto image

Lots of information including disclaimer in the tabs on the right of the images. image

Flickr Commons now…  Content often has original metadata from contributing institution, as well as tagging/folksonomy tags from users.  Many institutions now contributing, including National Archives.  Must have “no known copyright restrictions.”  Not necessarily out of copyright.  Meaning one of four things:  image is in public domain b/c copyright expired or copyright not renewed, institution owning copyright doesn’t care to exercise control, or institution owning copyright allows use.

Library of Congress Flickr Commons image

Awesome Commons image from Library of Congress:  women workers installing fixtures in B17F bomber.

For government imagery, Dan adds some other sources:  Library of Congress Prints & Photographs collection.  Not most intuitive site.  Finding aid for items physically residing in LoC, not meant to be digital repository per se.  So many item records have no digital image, just a description of the physical item at LoC.  Not entirely included in Commons, so potentially useful to check here as well.  Dan searches on Dorothea Lange, points out “preview images” button to see actual images, not just text search results.  (See below)

LoC prints & photos collection

Can see the images in context, i.e. “Migrant Mother,” Lange’s iconic photo, along with the other photos taken that day/in that session.  Some images are higher-resolution than others.

If you want items in a particular color scheme, put the color name and the word “color”  in the search string.  I.e. “orange color” yields fewer B&W images than “orange” alone.

Database has subject headings and other bibliographic information.

Good search for “WPA” yielding many high-quality images.

Posting now b/c this is long…more to follow.

Dan and Tricia have put together a great resource site for budget / free visual resources online.


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