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New York Public Library Releases Trove of Public Domain Images

Adds API's and source code, challenges rest of us to remix them.

The New York Public Library announced that it’s released a trove of public domain images for high resolution download.

The release covers 187 thousand images that date back to the 11th century and includes material that ranges from maps to manuscripts to photographs to much much more.

Via The NYPL:

The release of more than 180,000 digitized items represents both a simplification and an enhancement of digital access to a trove of unique and rare materials: a removal of administration fees and processes from public domain content, and also improvements to interfaces — popular and technical — to the digital assets themselves. Online users of the NYPL Digital Collections website will find more prominent download links and filters highlighting restriction-free content; while more technically inclined users will also benefit from updates to the Digital Collections API enabling bulk use and analysis, as well as data exports and utilities posted to NYPL’s GitHub account. These changes are intended to facilitate sharing, research and reuse by scholars, artists, educators, technologists, publishers, and Internet users of all kinds. All subsequently digitized public domain collections will be made available in the same way, joining a growing repository of open materials.

Remix & Prosper

The Digital Collections API is exciting. The library is hoping that people will take and remix the public domain images they’ve released. They even announced a “Remix Residency” which includes a $2,000 stipend and the opportunity to work with NYPL curators and staff.

The NYPL Labs has a visualization example and released the source code created to initially browse the 187,000 image release.

Data and utilities for the project is located here. The entire digital collection is here.

New York Public Library Releases Trove of Public Domain Images originally appeared on The Future Journalism Project.

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