The power of Flickr Commons. Nicole Cama, Australian National Maritime Museum


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This paper explores how one powerful online community has embraced the Australian National Maritime Museum’s collection and spent hours of their own time researching, identifying, labelling, tagging and commenting on our collection data. That community can be found on Flickr Commons, and I believe that their participation and engagement is changing the role not just of the curator, but also of the museum

The Museums Computer Group 'Museums on the Web' conference 2013 (UKMW13)
Tate Modern, 15 November 2013.
The theme for UKMW13 was ‘Power to the people’.

The Museums Computer Group: connecting, supporting, inspiring museum technology professionals

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The power of Flickr Commons. Nicole Cama, Australian National Maritime Museum

  1. 1. UK Museums on the Web, 2013 It’s all about the power of Flickr! Oh yeah! The Power of Flickr Commons Nicole Cama/@MuseumMinx Australian National Maritime Museum Samuel J Hood Studio, ANMM Collection
  2. 2. Penny Hyde and Nicole Cama, Pirate Curators YARRRRGGGGHH! Also known as @PennyEdwell & @MuseumMinx @anmmuseum
  3. 3. Pretending I know how to use a sextant And look, it’s the Black Pearl! @anmmuseum
  4. 4. Well no not really, it’s HMB Endeavour replica Photograph by Andrew Frolows, ANMM
  5. 5. Samuel J Hood Studio, ANMM Collection
  6. 6. “Gotta love this armchair archaeology” beachcomberaustralia
  7. 7. This is a very fashionable lady…but who on earth is she? Samuel J Hood Studio, ANMM Collection
  8. 8. And then…a breakthrough! Hera by George Lambert, 1924 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Felton bequest 1925 Nicole Cama, Mystery lady identified: A glass-plate negative on Flickr Commons, Signals 102 (Mar-May 2013): 18-19
  9. 9. A Japanese flapper? Samuel J Hood Studio, ANMM Collection
  10. 10. A cabaret!
  11. 11. pennylrichardsca Peggy mashup!
  12. 12. Samuel J Hood Studio, ANMM Collection
  13. 13. Same photograph published in The Australian Women’s Weekly in October 1936, after Brian Abbot’s disappearance. Discovery made possible thanks to the National Library of Australia’s search engine Trove! Full story here.
  14. 14. I have to say as one living in the UK I like the freedom of information you have in Australia. Over here every old photograph seems to be locked into some form of copyright, and it is impossible to look at old newspapers on the web without paying through a third party, so good on Trove. Anonymous
  15. 15. Brian Abbot just about to set sail for the last time. Courtesy of National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. Clips of film Mystery Island available online at Australian Screen WARNING: it’s a really bad film!
  16. 16. William Hall, ANMM Collection
  17. 17. ANMM Collection Gift from Graeme Andrews
  18. 18. Check out the full set of William Hall photographs of Myra Too on Flickr Commons
  19. 19. William Hall, ANMM Collection
  20. 20. “Engagement is about designing projects that turn occasional passers-by into enthusiasts willing to go that extra mile for you. Engagement is done, usually, within the safety of your institution’s building, website or social media presence. Outreach is about designing strategies that reach people wholly unknown to you and connect them with your institution … Outreach is done, usually, outside of the comfort zone of your institution’s building, website or social media presence.” Jasper Visser, Engagement and Outreach, 9 April 2012
  21. 21. William Hall, ANMM Collection Whoa?! That’s a lot of views • 2011 - between 6,000 to 10,000 views per month • September 2013 alone, we hit almost 900,000 views • The lovely Hera Roberts remains our highest viewed photograph to date, at over 13,000 views • More than 4 million views since we joined in December 2008. About 3 million of those views were achieved from February 2012 to the present.
  22. 22. What brings you back to Flickr Commons each day? A word from the ‘super sleuths’ “…there's not much interesting on TV!” beachcomberaustralia “…interaction with institutions like yours” pellethepoet “I think I read too many detective stories when I was a kid. I like the challenge of trying to discover when and where and even why a photo was taken, who the people might be.” quasymody
  23. 23. A few thoughts… We share commonalities ANMM Collection, Gift from Michael Williams
  24. 24. We are all in the same boat…so why not share? Samuel J Hood Studio, ANMM
  25. 25. Samuel J Hood Studio, ANMM Collection Don’t underestimate the oldies! Samuel J Hood Studio, ANMM Collection
  26. 26. You never know who will use your collection Samuel J Hood Studio, ANMM Collection Or how! pennylrichardsca
  27. 27. Power to the People! Samuel J Hood Studio, ANMM Collection
  28. 28. William Hall, ANMM Collection THANK YOU! Check out our Flickr Commons photostream for more gems like this one! 