More and more copyright-free images and illustrations are available freely online without a library card. Many of these initiatives are driven by libraries and various other government institutions. As they should be.
The British Library’s archive on Flickr includes over a million free images and illustrations. They are drawn from 17th, 18th and 19-century books in the Library’s collection, located in the main building in London. The archive is divided into themes including, among many others, Women of the World, Decorations & Design, Space & SciFi, Architecture, Portraits, Book Covers, Illustrated Lettering, Children’s Book Illustration, Technology & Industry, and Fauna.
For other sites offering free vintages images, consider also the following:
I received an email from Lucy Montgomery, Deputy Directory of Knowledge Unlatched. She provided an update on the progress of unlatching the first collection of open access books. Here are the highlights of her message:
- We have now begun the process of making the Pilot Collection available, discoverable and accessible on a Creative Commons license via OAPEN, HathiTrust and the British Library.
- PDFs of 17 books have already become available via the OAPEN digital library and we are loading content onto the HathiTrust and British Library systems.
- We have added a new page to our website which provides access KU titles. This page also makes it possible to follow the progress of each book in the Pilot Collection as it becomes available: http://collections.knowledgeunlatched.org/collection-availability-1/
- We are working with OCLC and others to ensure the quality of the MARC records being provided to us by publishers. Records will be made available as a download file in MARCXML format from the KU Collections website. As more titles are uploaded onto the system this file will be updated. Participating libraries will be notified and sent a link to the records via email. We anticipate that the first set of records will be available by 31 March.
This was announced back in June but the collection has grown significantly since that date. It now includes 45K titles, up from 19K. Here is more from the press release:
BiblioLabs, LLC and the British Library have launched their British Library 19th Century Historical Collection App for iPad — now available on the App Store. The App was announced in June with an initial offering of a thousand 19th century books — it now makes some 45,000 titles available to subscribers, expanding to over 60,000 titles by the end of the year.
For just £1.99 a month in the UK [$2.99 a month, US and rest of the world] users will be able to explore historical and antiquarian books that range from classic novels to original accounts by Victorian travellers, and from science and exploration to poetry, memoir and military history. Continue reading British Library’s 19th Century Historical Collection App now offers 45K titles
ARTstor images (over one million) will now be searchable in the EDS. Great news for the discovery of multiple information formats in one location.
More from the press release: The ARTstor Digital Library will be searchable via EBSCO Discovery Serviceâ„¢ (EDS) from EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) allowing mutual customers to use EDS to explore even more of a library’s collection. The agreement between ARTstor and EBSCO increases the value to ARTstor subscribers using EDS since end users will be able to search ARTstor Digital Library collectionsover one million imagesalongside their library’s entire print and electronic collection.
The ARTstor Digital Library serves as a curated, aggregated, and reliable online image resource that supports non-commercial educational use of images for research, teaching, and learning. The resource comprises hundreds of collections from museums, photo archives, photographers, scholars, artists, artists’ estates, and libraries. Today, ARTstor serves more than 1,300 institutions in 42 countries. Continue reading EBSCO Discovery Service indexing ARTstor
The British Library, along with BiblioLabs LLC announced today their British Library 19th Century Historical Collection App for iPad. With a full launch later this summer, the app will feature over 60,000 titles. A range of sample images is available here.
More from the press release: Currently the app features over a thousand 19th Century books, but it will provide access to more than 60,000 titles by later this summer when details on pricing for the service will be announced. The 60,000 books, which are all in the public domain, are part of the British Library’s 19th Century Historical Collection and span numerous languages and subject areas including titles such as “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley and “The Adventures of Oliver Twist” [with plates] by Charles Dickens. Continue reading British Library 19th Century Historical Collection app for iPad
From an EBSCO press release: A recent agreement between EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) and World Book, Inc. (World Book) will bring twelve popular reference tools into EBSCO Discovery Serviceâ„¢ (EDS). Metadata, including full-text searching, for World Book resources will be added to the EDS Base Index allowing the World Book content to better impact searching through the EDS single search interface. The twelve World Book resources that will be searchable in EDS include popular English language titles as well as French and Spanish language reference tools.
The titles include: World Book Kids, World Book Student, World Book Advanced, World Book Discoverer, World Book Online for Kids, World Book Online Info Finder, World Book Online Reference Center, Living Green, Early People, Inventions & Discoveries as well as the French and Spanish language reference tools, L’Encyclopedie Decoverte & Enciclopedia Estudantil Hallazagos Continue reading World Book content searchable on EBSCO Discovery Service
From an email I received, also linked on PR Web:
EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) and Credo Reference, the online reference service, have extended their partnership allowing the reference content from Credo Reference to be discoverable within EBSCO Discovery Serviceâ„¢ (EDS). Metadata from Credo General Reference, Credo Topic Pages and Publisher Collections will be added to the EDS Base Index. The addition of this rich and extensive content will impact searchers using the EDS single search interface by providing reference content and overviews of top research topics within discovery. Continue reading Credo Reference Content now Discoverable in EBSCO Discovery Service
The BL/JISC 2009-10 annual report on Researchers of Tomorrow: A Three Year BL/JISC study tracking the research behaviours of Gen Y doctoral students was just released in June 2010. While the report doesn’t mention ebooks per se, it does highlight how library collections and services are used/not used by PhD student in the UK. Students expressed particular frustration with getting the full text of scholarly journal articles, particularly those they found citations for in google scholar/library citation databases where full-text was not subscribed to by their institutions. Other topics of discussion include: using IT in research, main place of research work, training and support of research, use of ILL services, consultations with subject specialist librarians. One statistic I found interesting was that 57% of Gen Y students have never used advice from subject specialist librarians.
From RI Newsline:
Over the next three months readers at the British Library can try out three e-book readers from Sony and iRex Technologies … Devices on display include the Sony Reader, the iRex DR1000 and the iLiad.
From the press release, “Offering a hugely versatile reading experience, e-readers have seen an explosion of interest in recent months, with leading publishing experts suggesting that the industry has finally hit its ‘iPod moment’.”