The Historian’s Eye, created by Yale University professor Matthew Frye Jacobson, is a collection of over 1,000 digital images and audio archive addressing contemporary issues. Started in 2009 to document the historic moment of President Obama’s inauguration through photographs and interviews, the collection has since evolved to include images related to the “2008 economic collapse and its fallout, two wars, the raucous politics of healthcare reform, the emergence of a new right-wing formation in opposition to Obama, the politics of immigration, Wall Street reform, street protests of every stripe, the BP oil spill, and the seeming escalation of anti-Muslim sentiment nationwide.” According to the project’s creator, the Historian’s Eye seeks to “trace the fate of “our better history,” as the nation faces unprecedented challenges with a president at the helm who is fully inspirational to some, palpably unnerving to others. In addition to catching this moment like a firefly in a mason jar, the project seeks to encourage a new relationship to history itself—a mental habit of apprehending the past in the present and history-in-the-making.” In addition to viewing Jacobson’s images on the Historian’s Eye website, users are encouraged to participate in this project by contributing to the Historian’s Eye Flickr group. This is a fantastic collaborative resource for those interested in exploring contemporary issues and documenting history as it happens.
About PixelsA multi-disciplinary blog from the University of Illinois Library with announcements and technical tips on finding, creating, and using visual resources in teaching, learning, and research.
- Always check the rights and permissions statement if you wish to use media from any of the highlighted collections.
- Banishing Dissention
- On stock photography
- Fair Use Anxiety
- Wellcome Images Releases Over 100,000 Historical Images Online With CC-BY License
- The British Library releases over one million public domain images to Flickr
- Google Open Gallery and Web Publishing
- Image group download in ARTstor
- New collections available in ARTstor
- “Can I use this?” and Other Questions about Digital Image Access
- Welcome Home, Illini / the Noun Project