Written by Lars Jynge Alvik (National Archives of Norway)
The National Archives of Norway have uploaded 5300 images to Wikimedia Commons for public use. The images are from different parts of the collections mostly from the image archives collected by different governmental agencies, such as The Lighthouse board, Department of Corrections and the Ports department. In addition there are also images from private archives, Billedbladet NÅ (a pictorial magasine).
The images are not just confined to Norway, there is also some interesting international images, for example a small collection by Bodil Biørn, who lived in the border area between Turkey and Armenia before and after the Armenian genocide.
For the National Archives Wikimedia Commons is a interesting way to reach a broader audience and enthusiastic Wikimedia volunteers are a good source of metadata that our own curators would never have the time to find. For example where a Wikimedia user have gone through a large part of the collection identifying the correct aircraft types. And a collection of early colour photographs from Norway and Germany in 1937 where a German user have painstakingly placed the images in correct geographical categories, some of them even down to the correct street corner.
The images was uploaded from the National Archives’ Fotostation database by Riksbot, robot programmed in Python inhouse by National Archives staff. The upload has also highlighted a need for the National Archives to standardise the metadata in their own database and further uploads will happen after that job has been finished.
All images can be found on Wikimedia Commons.
This text is also published in the February edition of the newsletter This Month in Glam.