Historic photos go on to Flickr

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The National Media Museum in Bradford has become the first UK institution to make sections of the internationally renowned National Photography Collection available to millions worldwide through online photo management and sharing application Flickr™.

The Museum takes its place alongside seven other international institutions including The Library of Congress and The Smithsonian in the USA, The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney and Bibliothèque de Toulouse in France in “The Commons on Flickr” (www.flickr.com/commons/) a program designed to increase access to publicly-held photography holdings.  The site allows the public to contribute information and personal comment to the collections by commenting on and tagging the images.

The National Media Museum’s diverse collections encompass some of the best, most significant and historically important visual material to be found anywhere in the world, spanning a wide-range of cultural, scientific and aesthetic disciplines. Members of the Museum’s Collections team worked with Flickr to make three initial groups of images available online.  Museum curators, Colin Harding, Philippa Wright and Greg Hobson made the selections and provided contextual commentary.

These groups of interrelated works comprise Peter Henry Emerson’s “Pictures from Life in Fields and Fen” (1887), a selection of Kodak No.1 circular photos (c.1890), and a set of `spirit’ photograph taken by the medium, William Hope (c.1920). These first groups may be found at www.flickr.com/photos/nationalmediamuseum/.  Further selections from the National Collections will be made available on the site throughout the year.

Greg Hobson, Curator of Photographs at the National Media Museum said: “Working with Flickr gives us a unique opportunity to show selections of photographs from our Collection that we hope demonstrates its surprising wealth and diversity of content.”

The National Photography Collection contains key images by numerous influential historic and contemporary practitioners such as Julia Margaret Cameron, Anna Atkins, Sir John Herschel, Martin Parr and Eve Arnold, and includes the world’s first negative and the pre-eminent William Henry Fox Talbot Collection. The Museum also holds The Royal Photographic Society Collection, the Kodak Museum and the Daily Herald Archive.

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