Whether you’re learning about history or looking for inspiration, historic images are always interesting to browse through. The Arab Image Foundation is digitizing its collection. Out of half a million images, now you can access and download 22,000 of them from an online gallery – and there are more to come.
The Arab Image Foundation is a Beirut-based non-profit archive of Middle Eastern photography. Its physical collection counts over 500,000 photos coming from 50 countries across the Arab world and its diaspora. It comprises the work of over 250 amateur photographers and 700 professional photographers and studios. The images date back to as early as the 1860s, all the way to the present day.
The Art Newspaper writes that the digitization initiative was launched in 2016. It cost $255,000, which was funded by sponsors, trusts, foundations, and individuals. For now, there are 22,000 photos available in the online library, but there will eventually be around 55,000 images.
Interestingly enough, this online library is intended to be more than just an archive. The foundation wants people to engage with it and become contributors. In other words, if you have any photos you’d like to donate, you’re welcome to do so.
If you want to use images, they’re all shared under CC BY-SA 4.0 Attribution-ShareAlike and you can read more about image use here. The gallery is indeed interesting, full of amazing historic images, and you can access it here.
There are some other museums and libraries that digitized their impressive collections of images. Among them are Europeana, Cleveland Museum, American Museum of Natural History, and the Met Museum. I find it interesting to browse through online galleries of vintage photos. There are many real gems among them, such as these “vintage cat memes.” So, go and visit the Arab Image Foundation’s gallery and other galleries I linked, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of fascinating photos.
[via The Art Newspaper]
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