A Year And A Half Of 500 Years Of The World's Book Images

Just under a year and a half ago, in August 2014, Kalev debuted the Internet Archive Book Images collection, a collection of all the images found on more than 600 million digitized book pages dating back 500 years from over 1,000 libraries worldwide. All of these images were released as a public domain collection on Flickr. Within three months the images had appeared across the web.

We've been slowly uploading the full collection to Flickr a bit at a time over the past year and recently reached a milestone of 5.3 million images now available! A Google search today turns up over 330,000 pages from across the web that specifically cite the "Internet Archive Book Images" project, while brief exploratory searches for various keywords turn up a myriad more that have not been fully cited to the collection.

In addition to the incredible global media attention the project received when it first debuted, it continues to make regular appearances in mainstream media, from L'Express to ABC Australia to Wired to the Atlantic, NPR's Foodways to Around the Nation, Michigan Radio's history of vacuum cleaners to x-rays,  UMass Dartmouth's Library to Michigan State University's Library.

The collection has truly become a cultural resource and has inspired a whole new look at the scale of the future of digital humanities and what is possible with our digitized historical archives. Happy imaging!