Yesterday Slashdot picked up on a Library of Congress initiative to do more of their work with open source software. It would make a lot of sense if the Library of Congress interfaced directly with the world's most successful open source nonprofit: Wikimedia. The Library of Congress has been absolutely wonderful about making its material available to the public at high resolution. Today's post expresses appreciation for that openness in the hope that this valuable synergy will be appreciated and built upon.
Eight of the images that ran on the main page of the English Wikipedia this month came from the Library of Congress collection. The image above is a landscape of Havana, Cuba painted in 1639 by Johannes Vingboons, which I restored. Wikipedia's main page received 4.0 million page views while it ran at the Picture of the Day feature on January 1, 2010. The image itself received 11,900 direct page views that day and a total of 13,382 direct views this month. All of the page view statistics for Wikipedia's main page are confirmed here.
The Picture of the Day for January 6, 2010 was a seventeenth century chiaroscuro woodcut by Bartolommeo Coriolano, who was knighted by Pope Urban VII for his artistic work in engravings and woodcuts. I did the restoration. Wikipedia's main page received 5.1 million page views on January 6 and the image itself received 7937 direct page views this month.
This 1868 portrait of an Argentine gaucho was Picture of the Day on January 8. Wikipedia's main page received 5.2 million page views that day and the image received 16,427 direct views this month. This was another of my restorations. We'll be seeing other volunteers' work too.
This 1890s photochrom print of the quays at Waterford, Ireland was restored by Jake Wartenberg. It was Picture of the Day on January 14 when Wikipedia's main page received 5.3 million page views. Jake's restoration has received 33,629 direct page views so far this month. Good work, Jake!
The artist for this woodblock print of a women's bathhouse was Torii Kiyonaga, 1752-1815. Wikipedian editor Torsodog performed the restoration. It was Picture of the Day on January 18 when Wikipedia's main page received 5.6 million page views. The image has received 39,158 direct page views this month.
On January 20 Wikipedia's main page ran this albumen print of Moroccan snake charmers, which was created during the latter half of the nineteenth century. This was another of my restorations. Wikipedia's main page received 5.3 million page views that day. The image file has received 17,884 direct views this month.
On January 21 another one of Jake Wartenberg's restorations ran on Wikipedia's main page. This is an 1856 lithograph of the hospital at Selimiye Barracks where Florence Nightingale worked during the Crimean War. The main page had 5.3 million page views on January 21 and the image file received 21,840 direct views this month.
This theatrical advertisement from 1900 was restored by Adam Cuerden. While it was Wikipedia's Picture of the Day for January 22, the site's main page received 5.3 million page views. The image file hosting page has received 11,211 direct views this month.
Altogether that totals 41.1 million page views this month for Wikipedia's main page while media from the Library of Congress was running on it, and 161,468 direct page views for the eight Library of Congress images that were highlighted as Picture of the Day. These numbers are typical for the attention the Library of Congress collection is receiving through Wikimedian volunteer efforts.
I'd like to coordinate directly with the Library of Congress management to utilize this synergy better. And if the Library of Congress isn't interested I'll be happy to work more closely with institutions such as the Tropenmuseum that see the potential.