Here Be Dragons, Book Images Of The Internet Archive On Flickr

Image from page 298 of "Green willow and other Japanese fairy tales" (1910)

Susceptible as I am to the marriage of history with technology, being the original antiquarian-technophile, my love affair with the Internet Archive (a digital library offering free access to a legion of books, movies and music, not to mention some four billion cached web pages) grows ever deeper. If you haven’t browsed its files you really need to do so, if only to while away some self-indulgent hours. After all what better way to occupy one’s time than seeking out new or unexpected delights from amongst some four million scanned publications covering a span of centuries? (Oh to live the life of cyberologist a millennium from now).

Over the last couple of years nearly three million images found inside the books added to the Internet Archive have been uploaded to Flickr, the photo hosting website from Yahoo, with many, many, many more to follow. All are fully searchable and link from the search page to the original documents. Search the word “fox”, pick a photo or drawing, click on it, read the summary, and if you wish then click through to see the image in context within the actual publication. Maybe it’s just me but I find this a wondrous thing (very probably it is just me). So of course I did a few sample searches to whet the appetites of those ASF readers interested in such matters.

Search: Ireland.

Search: Irish (warning: racist portrayals from Britain, the United States and elsewhere in the Anglosphere abound!)

Search: Fenian.

Search: Fenians.

Search: Gaelic.

Search: Celtic (some great images and publications here).

Search: Fairy Tales.

Search: Legends.

Have fun!

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