Travel back in time with Flickr

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If you love reading antique books with illustrations, you might want to visit the Internet Archive’s account on image sharing site Flickr. They have recently uploaded pictures culled from more than 600 million book pages.

The data amounts to 19 petabytes (PB) of data, and the organisation will eventually post more than 14 million photos on Flickr, according to PC Magazine.

The Internet Archive said: “What would it look like if those 600 million pages could be ‘read’ completely differently? What if every illustration, drawing, chart, map, or photograph became an entry point, allowing one to navigate the world’s books not as paragraphs of text, but as a visual tapestry of our lives? How would we learn and explore knowledge differently?”

The organisation aims to answer these questions by cataloguing the images contained in books published in the last 500 years.

Apart from the detailed scans, users can easily browse the images because the files are organised by title, author name, year of publication, publisher and subject if applicable.

Those searching for a particular image will also get hyperlinks to their specific page, which can be viewed on the Internet Archive’s portal. They will also receive a link to the book’s description along with other images from the title. The organisation will include captions where possible.

“The latter is especially powerful, as it allows to keyword search 500 years of images, instantly accessing particular topics or themes,” it said.

For example, searching for the keyword “telephone” might show the evolution of the device, while the word “love” could lead to pictures of cherubs and courtship practices.