Flickr and Library of Congress Open Archives

Kevin’s Meandering Mind reported om 2008 that the US Library of Congress has joined with Flickr to put thousands of photos from its archives up on Flickr for viewing and use by us, the people. And oh, how lucky we the people are!

I may jest, but it’s been a few years since Flickr started hosting the images and I wanted to take a look at how many had been added since then. The quantity and quality is impressive.

The Flickr stream is identified as Library of Congress and feature images of people throughout history, going back through wars, lifestyles, all of American and world history.

I look through the faces of “unidentified soldiers” and wonder if one or more of these is related directly to me, their images preserved forever but their identity not.

[Unidentified soldier in Union uniform with bayoneted musket, knife, revolver, canteen, and knapsack]  (LOC)[Unidentified soldier in Union uniform with three unidentified women in bonnets and one unidentified man]  (LOC)

Were any of my female (or male) family members in the protests for women’s right and suffrage?

[Hedwig Reicher as Columbia] in Suffrage Pageant  (LOC)

My family history is full of soldiers, loggers, nation-builders, and nation-destroyers. We’ve got them all in my family tree, so I wonder if a family member was a part of this war-time destruction of a bridge in a stereoscope image.

Destruction of a railroad bridge (LOC)

I know that many family members joined up in Michigan to fight in World War I, so maybe they passed through Camp Custer in Michigan, captured with this unusual panoramic portrait with the camera elevated 500 feet into the air. I’d like to see the picture of the camera setup!

Camp Custer, Michigan, photographed from kites, camera elevated 500 feet (LOC)

Who knows what you may find as you dig through the sets on Flickr. It’s a wonderful visual tour through history, especially our own history.

I look forward to more images being added to the set as I know the Library of Congress must have millions of photographs to share with the world.

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About Lorelle VanFossen

Lorelle VanFossen hosts Family History Blog covering her ancestors and related family members. She is one of the top bloggers in the world, and host of the Lorelle on WordPress, providing WordPress and blogging tips for bloggers of all levels. A popular keynote speaker and trainer, she is also editor, producer, contributor, and official disruptive thinker for Bitwire Media which includes WordCast, Making My Life Network, Stories of Our Journeys, Life on the Road, WordCast Conversations, and the very popular WordCast Podcast.
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