LACMA launches new collection site with 20k public domain images

The Los Angeles County Museum of art said on their Tumblr on Friday “Dear Tumblr-verse, Merry Christmas: we just gave you 20,000 high-resolution images, for free. Now we have just one question: what are you going to do with them?” This announcement is a next step in LACMA’s ongoing experiment to open up more of their collections to the public, via the public domain. They have more discussion and explanation on their WordPress blog. Do any search on their new collections website and you can limit your search to only those with unrestricted images. And then you can take those images and do… whatever you want. There is still a wordy Terms of Use page that people may want to dig through but the upshot is that folks should go use these photos, for anything. Stick them in Wikipedia, use them on your flyers and blog posts, use them for your album covers, put them on a t-shirt. Thanks for trusting the public, LACMA. Lovely stuff. Here’s the pull quote from their website that sums up why they did this.

Why would a museum give away images of its art? As Michael Govan often says, it’s because our mission is to care for and share those works of art with the broadest possible public. The logical, radical extension of that is to open up our treasure trove of images. When we first launched our early experiment with giving images away online, we heard a resoundingly positive response from many quarters: school teachers, parents, graduate students, journalists and the occasional creative person interested in printing their own Mother’s Day cards. So far, we have yet to hear of a situation where one of our public domain artworks has been misused or abused.

links to things that you will like


http://www.flickr.com/photos/auntie/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


A few open tabs that I think may interest librarian.net readers.

(mostly) fully clothed women reading

Lezende Vrouwen in de Kunst (women reading, in artworks). The site is in Dutch but you can just click across the century links up top. From the always excellent BibliOdyssey.

today’s DDC art link

Forgotten Futures is a data sculpture which visualizes 100 years of forward thought. Using web-crawls of Google News, Google Blog and Google Scholar, the phrase “in the future” was associated with key words and phrases which reveal previous though about the future of our world. The top 100 terms for each year were categorized using the Dewey Decimal system, and mapped onto a grid. Holes were drilled into sheets of plexiglass whose sizes correspond to their frequency. For example, “war” is the biggest hole in 1945. The prototype shown here is a sketch for a larger installation.” [via info aesthetics, via sudama]

a new kind of book blog

Barbara Yates makes lovely books out of wood and other recycled materials. My favorite one post blog ever. [thanks peacay]

negative space

Do you see what I see here?

information visualization aesthetics @ Seattle Public Library

The article begins “From now on, whatever you check out of the Seattle Central Library will play in color-coded streams across six big plasma screens on the library’s fifth floor.” but don’t freak out, that’s actually not what happens. Read more about the new art installation in the Seattle Public Library’s main branch. Of the three other major artworks in the library, two aren’t working currently, they need new projectors. [thanks matthew]

fall in love with classification all over again

The Collier Classification System for Very Small Objects, by artist Brian Collier [amanda]

radio book, book radio

When you look at the creative bleeding edge things people are doing with user interface design you have to wonder why we can’t hire someone like this to design our OPACs. [thanks adam]

Our final concept, the “book radio,” takes the mental model of a physical book where user can browse by flipping pages, read by keeping a page open, and create a reminder of a specific page by placing a bookmark.

Each page of the “book radio” represents a frequency. The user flips pages to scan the frequency spectrum; opens to a specific page to listen to a station; places the bookmark on a desired page to listen and store the station; and slides the bookmark up or down to control the volume. In addition, the “book radio” inherits other qualities of a book. The user can scribble in it, place stickers or take notes while listening.

The National Library of Cabinet Magazine

Desert Project: Cabinet National Library. Trust me, you’ll enjoy it. Here’s a link where you can read a little more about it. [thanks iboy]