Saturday, April 25, 2009

The New York Public Library Mid – Manhattan library Picture Collection Online

The Picture Collection Online presents more than 30,000 digitized images from books, magazines and newspapers as well as original photographs, prints and postcards, mostly created before 1923. I think it is mainly because the works published before 1923 are in public domain. Obviously, there are no copyright problems for the online picture collection. The Picture Collection Online includes the following subjects: African-Americans, American History, Animals, Army, Birds, Clothing & Dress, Costume, Design, Dragons, Exploration, Fashion Drawings, Fur Fashions, Gloves, Hats, Hairdressing, Hosiery, Insects, Native Americans, New York City, Pioneer, Life, Punishments, Reptiles, Shoes, Slave Ships, Slavery, Snakes, Textiles, Umbrellas and Parasols. From the subjects mentioned above, I find the website has a wide variety of collections.

Browsing the picture collection is very easy. Users can browse by Folder Titles, Image Titles, Names, Subjects, Source by Author, and Source by Title. Then click the dropdown button, the list of available items will appears. Users can select the item you want to watch. If users like to see a large picture, they can click the thumb sized picture. The Metadata is provided with Title, Image ID, Creators, Physical Description, Material Type, Subjects, Date Published, Barcode Number, Struc ID, Source and In Folder. The problem I encounter is some pictures can’t be uploaded correctly.

For searching function, the collection provides keywords searching. In addition, users can also use advanced searching function through using “Search in all fields”, “Match all of these words” and “Include word variants”.

Furthermore, the collection offers users the opportunity to save the items they like to “My Gallery”, and users can easily visit their own collection at any time. For the picture collection, the intended audience should be students, researchers and individual interested in history pictures.

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