Download 2.6 Million Images from Books Published Over the Last 500 Years

If you’re looking for free images you can use in books, e-books, blog posts, and so on, you might like to know that a new source of 2.6 million images just came on-stream. This article from the Open Culture website explains:

Thanks to Kalev Leetaru, a Yahoo! Fellow in Residence at Georgetown University, you can now head over to a new collection at Flickr and search through an archive of 2.6 million public domain images, all extracted from books, magazines and newspapers published over a 500 year period. Eventually this archive will grow to 14.6 million images.

This new Flickr archive accomplishes something quite important. While other projects (e.g., Google Books) have digitized books and focused on text — on printed words — this project concentrates on images. Leetaru told the BBC, “For all these years all the libraries have been digitizing their books, but they have been putting them up as PDFs or text searchable works.” “They have been focusing on the books as a collection of words. This inverts that.”

Source: Download for Free 2.6 Million Images from Books Published Over Last 500 Years on Flickr | Open Culture

The article also lists a number of other public domain photo collections, so it’s well worth reading down to the end. They include a million images from the British Library that are free to use and remix.

The featured image above this post comes from the new Flickr archive. It is an advertisement from “Gleanings in Bee Culture”, December 1, 1916.

Happy image searching!


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