The National Library of Medicine has announced that it is now a participating institution of the Commons on Flickr. The Commons on Flickr was launched in 2008 as a pilot project in partnership with the Library of Congress in order to increase access to publicly-held photography collections and to invite the general public to provide information about the collections. The National Library of Medicine now joins a distinguished, international group of nearly one hundred cultural institutions in providing greater access to its collection and inviting public use of and engagement with these images held in the public trust through The Commons on Flickr.
Images from the historical collections of the History of Medicine Division, including public health posters, book illustrations, photographs, fine art work, and ephemera, have always been available through the Images from the History of Medicine database, which includes over 70,000 images illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine dated from the 15th to the 21st century. Now, they can also be accessed through the Commons on Flickr via a photostream, where visitors can contribute information about the images by adding comments and tags. By adding a new way to see its collections through Flickr NLM hopes to learn more details about its collections, create dialog about its holdings, and share knowledge with the public. The collection of images on Flickr will continue to grow so visitors can check back regularly for new content!