Did you know State Library of Queensland holds approximately 1.5 million photographic resources – negatives, slides, original photographs, copy prints and original albums dating from 1859 to the present day relating to Queensland?
In 2003, State Library launched its digital image library, Picture Queensland, populating the online catalogue One Search with 6,000 digitised photographs – each one documenting aspects of Queensland’s development and social history throughout the state.
In the 15 years since, the number of historical and contemporary images displayed online has increased to more than 50,000.
Anyone, anywhere can access the image collection for research or purely for pleasure. They are free to download and for use without permission. State Library of Queensland only asks that the library be acknowledged as the source.
In 2008, State Library joined with other cultural institutions world-wide, uploading a selection of images linked to Queensland’s people and places on to Flickr Commons. This global initiative was an exciting new phase for sharing Queensland content – increasing exposure of the State Library collections and knowledge linked to the content.
By placing out-of- copyright images about Queensland into Flickr Commons, State Library is inviting wider sharing, encouraging new audiences to view curated content in albums and explore the vast collection of State Library. Everyone is welcome to contribute their feedback; add relevant information in the comments field; and add new search tags – helping to enrich everyone’s experience of Queensland, content and knowledge.
More than 17.4 million external visitors have viewed the collections of the State Library uploaded to Flickr Commons. This number continues to grow as more and more people choose to access the images State Library shares with a global audience.
Nearly 7,000 word tags attached to the images enable them to be searched by popular keywords and much more discoverable.
Where possible a geo-location marker is added to each image identifying where on the map of Queensland the photo originates. It is not always possible as some images come to the State Library with little information attached.
Have you viewed the State Library of Queensland’s image collections on Flickr Commons? It is an enjoyable way to view the unusual, the unique and intensely Queensland experience.
Have you seen the images that have proven to be very popular over time?
Whether it is rugby you are interested in – Union or League; or messing about on boats; or studying suburban estate maps or observing the quaint and quirky, State Library invites you to join the online community and experience a part of Queensland’s unique social history through its Flickr Commons photographs.
Anne Scheu, Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland