Museums on Flickr

Our illustrious alumnus Kostas Arvanitis has set up a group on Flickr for museum advertisements (see here), and it got me thinking about what a fantastic resource Flickr is for researchers.  There are a great number of groups dedicated to museums, museum objects and museum visits.  Some, like the V&A's group, have been set up by the institutions themselves.  Others like Museum Watchers are user-driven.  

I find that most people who share their photographs on Flickr are very generous.  I found this out when looking for images from a temporary exhibition a few years  ago which I needed for a paper.  I had completely failed to manage to find anything suitable via the museum, but did turn up some great photographs of the display on Flickr.  A quick email to the photographers resulted in permission to use their work.  Marvellous!

The Commons  is a Flickr-venture in partnership with museums and collecting institutions worldwide.  The idea is that museums, galleries and archives share their photographic collections online in return for users' knowledge and expertise.  The majority of institutions taking part are US-based, but there are some UK museums represented.  Among my favourites are the National Media Museum's photostream.  I love the circular Kodak prints and the spirit photographs.

What will you find?


J said…
George Eastman House also has a photostream. I particularly love the autochromes. They are so rarely displayed in museums that it is a pleasure to see the past in colour, even if the digital object loses some of its object-ly quality.

I do wish museums would do more in-situ photography of their exhibits and make those available. The Brooklyn Museum has been making their archival photos of old exhibits available, and they are fabulous. There are also user-generated tags to browse by, which are deeply amusing.
Amy said…
Oh, those autochromes are fabulous! Thanks for the tip.

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