Category Archives: Flickr Commons

Happy Belated Birthday to OSU Flickr Commons!

Five years and a handful of days ago we embarked on a trip into unchartered territories. What would happen if we joined other cultural heritage institutions in the newly born Flickr Commons?

It was an easy choice for me — promoting access, celebrating photographs, having a load of fun. It also complimented our other Flickr account.

But this was a shift in many ways for our archives, asking us to think about copyright and access, use and promotion. If we put items in Flickr Commons, according to the legally binding contract we signed, those items were free and clear for use. We still asked that people filled out permissions forms, but those were just a formality and used for tallying numbers.

We were joining a pretty formidable group, with the Library of Congress and Smithsonian among the members. the Library of Congress in particular had reported HUGE spikes in interaction and use. We braced ourselves.

Big spikes never came, though we have had a whole lot of views over the past 5 years, even without adding a lot of new content. People continue to appreciate our willingness to offer access to historical items that can often be “locked down” or prohibitively expensive to use. I’m still proud to be the first university in the Commons, and still happy that I wrote that email 5 1/2 years ago.

And it’s still fun.


Happy 5th birthday Flickr Commons!

We’re so proud to be a part of the great Flickr Commons project, with our own 4th anniversary just over the horizon on February 14th. In celebration of this day, Commons members contributed to a wonderful set of galleries!

Happy 5th birthday Flickr Commons

You’ll find a great blog post on the Flickr blog

Exactly five years ago today we announced a fantastic new project: The Commons on Flickr.

To celebrate the occasion, our founding member, the Library of Congress, asked Commons member institutions to send in links to a few of their most viewed, commented, or favorited images. The result is four very special galleries celebrating the beauty, excitement, and emotion of those amazing public collections of civic institutions from around the world.

Check them out and enjoy.


New Flickr Commons set full of images from the Santiam Valley

There is so much to love about Oregon… And so much to love about the fabulous pictures in the Gerald Williams collection! Heading into the Santiam Valley, our newest Flickr Commons set has images from all seasons and all sorts of locales (and of all sorts of locals). Enjoy the waterfalls, front porches, camping grounds, highways, and a little bit of snow.

Two Men Boating on the Santiam River, circa 1910

Want to learn more about what’s in the Williams Collection? Check out the finding aid!

Want to see more Flickr C images from the Williams Collections? We have those too.

And, of course, there are many more on ourSCARC digital collection site!

New Flickr Commons set! “People (and cows) doing stuff in fields (and orchards)”

O’Neil with plants, circa 1965

It’s that magical time of the year when we can get lost in blueberry picking, get our hand stained from blackberries, and endlessly water our baby winter greens. Enjoy this delightful little set “People (and cows) doing stuff in fields (and orchards),” which celebrates people growing stuff and picking stuff!

And while you are over in the Flickr-verse, check out the entire “People Doing Stuff” collection!

Malheur County judging team

Malheur County judging team

Last summer we virtually traveled the state to celebrate the OSU Extension Service Centennial. Since it was such a fabulous trip, we decided to pull a few more pictures out of our stacks just to reminisce a bit…

Check out the “Just can’t get enough! Extending the Extension celebration” set — and then take a bit of time to poke around what we did last summer.

Build it up!

Chemistry Building (Gilbert Hall)

Chemistry Building (now Gilbert Hall)

Corvallis-ites know that life in our little parcel in the Willamette Valley has changed quite a bit!

In our newest Flickr Commons set, “Build It Up,” we’d like to encourage you all to think of progress and development from lots of different angles… From above, from the past? In color or in paint?

Times they are a’changing, this set will help you remember where we’ve been. And yes, we still love it here.


Those fabulous Giffords and their great pictures!

Oh the places you’ll go… Oh the places those Giffords went…

You’ve had a good long wait for a new Flickr Commons set — and this one will not disappoint. Those fabulous Giffords, with their fabulous picture taking skills, have left us with such an amazing legacy of stunning photography. Pulling together a set of pictures for this “Travels with the Giffords” set was a cinch. So many stunners to choose from!

Ice Garden, 1925

Ice Garden, 1925

My favorites include the “Ice Garden,” above, which shows a frozen fountain and pond at Gifford home in Salmon River, Washington. Another spectacular shot, “Hot springs near Lakeviewis seen below.


Hot springs near Lakeview, Oregon

Hot springs near Lakeview, Oregon

Want some more details from the finding aid?

The Gifford Family is considered Oregon’s first family of photography. Beginning in 1888, when Benjamin A. Gifford emigrated to Portland from Kansas, they began a photographic tradition that lasted into the 1950s and spanned three generations. Benjamin A. Gifford worked as hotographer in Portland and The Dalles, Oregon, from the late 1880s until about 1920, when his son Ralph took over his studio in Portland.

Ralph I. Gifford with dog and horse, circa 1945

Ralph I. Gifford with dog and horse, circa 1945

In 1936, Ralph became the first photographer of the newly established Travel and Information Department of the Oregon State Highway Department, a position he held until his death in 1947. After her husband’s death, Wanda Muir Gifford took over the family’s photography business and continued to take and sell photographs through the mid-1950s.

Ben L. Gifford, the son of Ralph I. and Wanda Gifford, joined his mother in the family’s business in early 1950s and also worked for a Salem photography studio from 1951 until 1955. Three generations of Gifford photography began to come to a close when Ben took an engineering job with the State Highway Commission in 1955.



It’s for the birds

E. E. Wilson feeding a chicken, circa 1915

E. E. Wilson feeding a chicken, circa 1915

We wowed you with a small Flickr set in 2009 called “William Finley and Herman Bohlman: American Birds.” This week we’re back with the birds, this time flying through the E.E. Wilson, Edwin Russell Jackman, and the Fisheries and Wildlife Department Photographs with our new Flickr Commons set “It’s for the birds.”

Desert grouse, 1938

Desert grouse, 1938

Always a treasure trove!

New Flickr Commons set! Food Science and Technology

Still life with pears

Still life with pears

Although the trees and bushes are bare in our region,  foodies everywhere will delight in our new Flickr Commons set “Food Science and Technology.” Deliciously chock full of fruit testing and tasting, Food Science students, canning machinery, berry growers, canned and fresh veggies. And my favorite? The pics of dehydrated shredded potatoes and beef, of course.

Remember that you can always learn more in the archives! Check out these collection guides:

And if you are in town you can visit, have us pull a box, and check out the records for yourself! If it’s a quick trip ask for the “MC – Food Science and Technology Department.”