The New York Public Library is aggressively digitizing the public domain works in its collections, adding high-quality machine-readable metadata to each of the hundreds of thousands of assets, providing an API, offering residencies to remixers who do interesting things with the collection, and offering all those assets in high-rez with "No permission required. No restrictions on use."
This is the exactly what libraries should be doing with their public domain collections: making them available to all comers in the most convenient and useful way. It's why we invested in libraries, it's the dividend we're due for our decades of financial support. Thank you, NYPL, for your outstanding, world-leading work.
To get a sense of the relevance of the collection, check out NAVIGATING
THE GREEN BOOK, which collects and presents "a travel guide published between 1936 and 1966 that listed hotels, restaurants, bars, gas stations, etc. where black travelers would be welcome."
With the introduction of this travel guide in 1936, it has been our idea to give the Negro traveler information that will keep him from running into difficulties, embarrassments and to make his trips more enjoyable.
If this guide has proved useful to you on your trips, let us know. If not, tell us also as we appreciate your criticisms and ideas in the improvement of this guide from which you benefit.
There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published. That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States. It will be a great day for us to suspend this publication for then we can go wherever we please, and without embarrassment. But until that time comes we shall continue to publish this information for your convenience each year.
Public Domain Collections: Free to Share & Reuse
The Met’s collection contains over 375,000 images of art in the public domain; they’ve made these directly searchable and browseable, there’s a Github repo of metadata, integration with the Creative Commons search tool, and extensive collaboration with Wikimedia and GLAM Wiki.
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