Wednesday, January 6, 2016
New York Public Library Invites a Deep Digital Dive By JENNIFER SCHUESSLERJAN. 6, 2016
Mansion Maniac, a whimsical online toy created by the New York Public Library, may seem like envy bait for the real-estate have-nots. With the help of a Pac-Man-like icon, users can explore the floor plans of some of the city’s most extravagant early-20th-century residences, culled from the library’s archives.
But the game is what you might call a marketing teaser for a major redistribution of property, digitally speaking: the release of more than 180,000 photographs, postcards, maps and other public-domain items from the library’s special collections in downloadable high-resolution files — along with an invitation to users to grab them and do with them whatever they please.
Digitization has been all the rage over the past decade, as libraries, museums and other institutions have scanned millions of items and posted them online. But the library’s initiative (nypl.org/publicdomain), which goes live on Wednesday, goes beyond the practical questions of how and what to digitize to the deeper one of what happens next. Read more...