08 June, 2006

Digitised Books on Flickr: Punch Volume 9

I was asked by Margaret from the English department to digitise some old volumes of Punch and Boy's Own Paper.

The next question was how to make them available for access. WebCT's Image Database tool was a possibility (see on Edge Hill's WebCT: Developer Community > Other Resources > WebCT Tools - very basic examples > Image Database...) but is time consuming to upload images and they are only available in one WebCT area.

Flickr looked more attractive to me as it has upload software which makes the process of uploading a large number (100s) of images perhaps 20 times faster than with WebCT. Not only that but the images are then available for the whole world to use, in various different sizes. The only drawback was a small monthly upload limit (20 MB) unless you pay (then you get 2GB), which will mean I'll have to upload the images over about 4 months unless I upgrade the account for $25 (about £15).

For example you could link to the image (automatically converted to different sizes) from WebCT:

Cover: Large
Cover: Medium
Cover: Small
Cover: Thumbnail
Cover: Square (which could be downloaded and used as icons in WebCT).

The files uploaded so far are available (out of order) for you to look at.

Finally, another interesting use of Flickr allows you and other people in your group to add annotations to the pictures. This can be used to point interesting things out, or add interesting or important information about the picture.

By the way, there are more images available from Punch 1942-1959 as are details of when each early volume and issue were released.


shaina said...

sounds interesting

Tim said...

What makes flickr any better than using an on campus server to host the images though? There are perl/php scripts to generate the html, allow user upload, allow comments.. etc.

Peter Beaumont said...

That's a good point from Tim. I like using Flickr because the images are available for anyone to use, anywhere. Hosting our own pictures would give us the flexibility to set things up like we want to, but whenever we try and do anything on-campus their are issues with finding people who have time and the rights to set up things server-side.

Tim said...

Yeah, I can imagine there are a few constraints that you'd have to overcome.. And it's always nice to have someone else responsible for the uptime, maintainance, etc where possible. Particularly if it's going to be a free service!

As ever though, there are open source solutions out there that would only take an hour or so to sort out. Gallery seems to be a popular one, though it looks a bit complicated for my liking. Coppermine is another one that I've had a bit of experience with, but again not really my cup o' tea.

It's always nice to start from the ground up if time allows, but there are always shortcuts you can take... :-)

kg said...

I would suggest Wikimedia Commons


It's free!