Launch of New Photographic Collections Site

Thursday 2 April 2020

We’ve spent some time recently working on replacing our aging photographic collections site – you can see the new and improved site here

The main aim of the new site is to improve the discoverability, usability and shareability of our amazing collection of photographs in all formats and of all ages. The result is that we now have over 300,000 high resolution images available online.

Some key innovations:
You can now see the results of your searches in a variety of different ways including
• Grid – default view, images shown on grid

• List –

• Map – if the images are geotagged, they will appear on a map

• Gallery – Similar to Flickr/Google, this is an infinite-scroll lightbox view with an in-window slideout metadata window.

IIIF Integration – the tech savvy among you will be pleased to know that all images are retrieved via the Cantaloupe IIIF API. This enables the images to be zoomed for the first time in the Universal Viewer. To see this in action, search for an image, then click on the binoculars to enter the Universal Viewer.

Or click here for the IIIF view of our Eve Arnold print of Marilyn Monroe.

Be sure to zoom right-in on photo to see the incredible detail available in many of our high-resolution scans. This example of an early 20th century autochrome allows you to see the colour image particles (actually made of potato starch!) which make up the early colour photographic process.

IIIF also makes it easier to reuse our images in other contexts – or example, in this online jigsaw puzzle.

• Fast, context-sensitive searching — results should return much faster than the old site. You can also click on any blue words in boxes to open up another related search. For example, clicking on the ‘Rodger, Thomas, (1832-1883)’ box below would perform a search for all other images by that creator.

• Customised facets for filtering: the facets on the left hand side of the screen can be used to set up to 11 different filters for your search results.

• Video and audio support – watch this space! The new site supports the playback of our audio and video collections, and we intend to add more of these over the next 6 months. You can see a preview of how this works here.

• New, easier to use selection, ordering and sharing process. You can create a selection of images by clicking the ‘Add to selection’ box in the top right hand corner of any photo.

Whatever you choose then appears when you click ‘My selection’ in the top right hand corner of the screen.

Once you’ve made a selection, you can:
• Purchase hi-res copies of the images
• Make an appointment to see them in our reading room
• Email links to yourself for future reference
• click ‘Link to selection’ to receive a permalink that you can then share with others. For example, we can link you to the selection in the image above using this url

• Embeddable images: the universal viewer can be embedded in any web page, enabling easy sharing of our collections across the world, with attribution.

To embed an image on your web page, simply find the image you want to share, and click ‘Embed’ at the bottom left hand corner of the image:

This will provide with a snippet of code to copy and paste into your webpage.

If you zoom in on an image before sharing or embedding it, it will retain the same position and level of zoom after being shared or embedded.

• You can now search for our images using the University’s main search bar
• The site can be finally be indexed by Google, so you can search for our images there too.

Where possible we have made our images available on a CC BY-NC Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Public License which means that you are welcome to use many of our images for non-commercial purposes as long as you give us credit.

We’re also encouraging feedback from you, the people who use the collections! If you see any records that you think could be improved, you can let us know by clicking the ‘Suggest additions or corrections to this record’ link at the bottom of the page.

Finally – if you’re looking for a bit of fun or distraction, we have a ‘Guess the location’ game at: You’ll be presented with an image and have to guess where it was taken – points if you can get within 100km!

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