Friday, April 3, 2009

Wellcome Images Collection

Wellcome Images

Office Map

Wellcome Images, a division of Wellcome Library in London, describes its collection as "two thousand years of human culture." The images are primarily biomedical and healthcare related but there are also those focused on themes concerned with social history and art. The Wellcome Trust funds the Wellcome Library and website and is a charity that supports biomedical research. This explains the focus and selection of materials featured within the collections.

The site states the intended use of the images under the heading "Prices," where it states that they are available for download for "personal, academic teaching or study use, under one of two Creative Commons licenses." However, newer photographs or larger files or prints have prices listed. Thus, the intended audience would be patrons interested in using them for academic purposes.

Wellcome Images is divided into galleries that include highlights, illness and wellness, life, culture, nature, and war. I selected culture after a brief look over the health related images which were a bit graphic. The title, unique number, a thumbnail, and an option to add to lightbox are shown for each image. The metadata provided includes the same information as listed when browsing the gallery as well as credit, by, from, and collection. There are options to select related keywords to search for more images with similar subject matter. Some images also include metadata concerning publication information, the library reference number, and a link to the full bibliographic record for the image in the Wellcome Library Catalogue. The full bibliographic record contains physical descriptions, note, references, author etc., unif. title, topic-mesh, system no., publ. place, and record no. It also links to the full MARC record display.

The images are of good quality but there is no zoom function available and only one size offered. The user can search using keywords and can select to search historical images, contemporary images, or both types at the same time. There are answers to 26 common search related questions which could be very helpful in navigating the image collection.

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