Archives Outside

For people who love, use and manage archives

Archives Outside - For people who love, use and manage archives

Archives and Flickr: a perfect fit?

There’s been some recent discussion about Flickr following an article called How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet.

Kate Theimer raised the topic on her blog ArchivesNext and we thought we’d highlight it here:

…And if Flickr isn’t the cool shiny toy it once was (and it certainly is not), are archives moving to something else to share images? Pinterest is addicting…but it doesn’t have all the features of Flickr. Is Flickr still the go-to site for archives to share images, or have we moved on to something else? Facebook, perhaps? Or do you use both?

Read the full post here

What about State Records NSW on Flickr?

We still like using Flickr for showcasing the SRNSW collection. Apart from anything it’s simple to use and a friendly and informative community has sprung up around our photostream. Flickr reaches an infinitely larger audience than we ever could from our website and we can easily interact with visitors who are interested in our photos (which we can’t do in our own image database).

We’re still not on The Commons, though; we’ve been on a waiting list for the last five years or so. Perhaps that part of Flickr has ground to a halt…?

We have also been experimenting with the Flickr API and feeding visitors’ photos of our archives back into our catalogue. So, if someone chooses to post to our Flickr group then the image ends up visible to people browsing our catalogue – see here for example.

I think being part of Web 2.0 keep us (as archival institutions) relevant: people see what we have; who we are, and; possibly more importantly they know we exist. It’s an opportunity to be in the places where people live/work/play online and not trying to force them elsewhere. We don’t participate in tons of social media sites, we do what is manageable and experiment with what works for us.

Flickr has definitely been successful and it would be sad to see it go. What would the alternative be?

What are your thoughts?

Category: Digital 2.0
  • Molly says:

    Have you thought about giving Pinterest a try? I think it has great potential for archives, libraries etc and can be a great way to spread interesting images to a wider audience.

    The nice thing about Pinterest is that people can collect and curate your images on their own boards but they will still link back to your website. There’s also a history category. The potential for setting up online exhibitions on Pinterest hasn’t been exploited much yet but it would be great to see it being used for this.

    June 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm
  • Fiona Sullivan says:

    Molly, yes Pinterest is interesting. We’ve been having a quiet play with it for a couple of months trying to work out how best to use it. .

    I think as you suggest exhibition type use is probably where Archives and Libraries will find their niche. To date the two most successful pins we have uploaded are this and this which definitely reflect that.

    We’ve tried a couple of other different uses such as crowdsourcing images of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to celebrate its birthday, (hampered by the fact that we had to be the ones pinning the images sent to us because of the way permissions on Pinterest work). I’ve also used it as a visual bookmark service for crowdsourcing and the semantic web.The next step I am going to try is systematically transferring one of our online exhibitions.

    How to behave as an Archive or Library on Pinterest is also an interesting question. My personal view is that we can’t be a static presence. Following, liking and repinning are all part and parcel of the Pinterest experience. However, it does get a bit tricky. So far we’ve intermixed State Records content and other content on all of our boards. Moving forward we are going to try and maintain a balance with a few boards that consist solely of State Records content and others that are a mixture.

    June 25, 2012 at 11:52 am