Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wellcome Library of London Releases 100,000 Images To Public

Historical Images

Predictions for 1832Astronomy: various apocalyptic scenes, including war, and shipwreck. 
Coloured lithograph, [c.1832?]. 
Source & Credit; Wellcome Library, London

An article in the Public Domain Review says that the Wellcome Library has released 100,000 images to the public; they can be freely used as long as credit is given to Wellcome London:

The article says:
This morning the Wellcome Library announced its release of 100,000 of its historical images under an open license (CC-BY–meaning they are free for any re-use provided that the Wellcome Library is credited). The range and quality of the images released is phenomenal. The collection covers more than a thousand years of imagery relating to the history of medicine, including manuscripts, paintings, etchings, early photography and advertisements – from medieval Persian anatomy to the satirical prints of Rowlandson and Gillray.

This move by the Wellcome is yet another recent example of a hugely respected institution releasing digitisations of its public domain content under an open license – with the last 6 months seeing The Getty and The British Library making similar moves. It’s a really promising sign of a more general shift toward opening up public domain content that we’ve seen taking place in the cultural sector over the last couple of years. Wonderful stuff!

This selection from Wellcome’s release that we’ve chosen below is from just the first 1% of the 100,000 images made available. Remember, all are published under an CC-BY license so, if re-using, you must credit the “Wellcome Library, London”. 
This is a wonderful initiative on the part of the library; let's hope that other libraries and public institutions follow this sterling example to help make the Internet, our society and the sharing of information more open, as its original intent was. To see a selection of these wonderful images of the past, you can go directly to [PublicDomainReview].