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Crowdsourcing Brings Historical Archive Online

In an effort to bring the George Eastman House archive online, Dr. Anthony Bannon, Director at George Eastman House in Rochester New York,  has announced partnership with Clickworker, an international crowdsourcing company. The project involves photo-tagging of more than 400,000 images from the George Eastman House, one of the world’s oldest photography museums. Using a guided and tiered tagging system, Clickworker hopes to bring the Eastman archive into the digital age, making the photographs accessible to the public — in many instances, for the very first time. To get these images online, Clickworker is using its global crowd of paid “clickworkers’, more than 115,000 strong.

People who register to work on the project as “clickworkers’ will also be able to see the results of their work just a short while later on the Eastman House licensing website. Among the images from the venerable George Eastman House archive are classic favorites like views of Paris by Eugene Atget and immigration photos by Lewis Hine–but among are some surprises, like the Hippo Back, Hippo Front photographs by Lewis Hine, and the electric portrait of Judy Garland by Nickolas Muray.


Nickolas Muray, American (b. Hungary, 1892-1965) Judy Garland. 1945 Color print, assembly (Carbro) process.


Lewis Hine, Empire State Building construction worker touching the top of the Chrysler building, 1930. Gelatin Silver Print.
Hine was commissioned to photograph construction of the Empire State Building in May 1930. He photographed construction workers, following them up into the sky as the building rose to its height of 102 stories, the tallest building ever erected at that time.


Lewis Hine, Hippo Back.


Lewis Hine, Hippo Front.


Eugene Atget, (1857-1927) Avenue de l’Observatoire, 1926. Silver printing-out paper print.


Lewis Hine, Immigration.


Alvin Langdon Coburn, The Octopus, 1912. Gelatin silver print.