Need some new visual resources for next term’s imperial or global history class? The British Library has now made available over 1 million images dating from the 17th to the 19th century.
We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of.
Also, if you have spare time, you can lend them a hand:
We are looking for new, inventive ways to navigate, find and display these ‘unseen illustrations’….We may know which book, volume and page an image was drawn from, but we know nothing about a given image…We plan to launch a crowdsourcing application at the beginning of next year, to help describe what the images portray…If you need help or would like to collaborate with us, please contact us on email, or twitter.
Be sure to have a look!