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Library of Congress Asks Flickr Users to Share Photos of Their COVID Experiences

The Library of Congress has invited all Flickr users in the United States to submit photos of “their experiences living through the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.” The best images will be added to a special online photo pool and some will be preserved in the LOC’s permanent collections.

The announcement was made two days ago on the Flickr blog, and while some photographers will no doubt be upset at the thought of “donating” their images to anybody, this does present an interesting opportunity for photographers who want to get their images added to the Library’s permanent collections.

Anybody who wants to participate can submit up to 5 photographs “or graphic artworks,” which the LOC hopes you will mark as “Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial,” although that’s not required. All submissions will be combed through by the Library’s curators, and the best images will be displayed online here and possibly used more broadly to share this “COVID-19: American Experiences” initiative.

Here are some examples that have already been selected for the Library’s online pool:

Photo by Rick Byrnes
Photo by Lee Wooten
Photo by Tom Hart
Photo by Eric
Photo by Scott Dommin
Photo by Jim Hill
Photo by TRACY MEEHLEIB
Photo by Marco

According to the announcement, the purpose of the initiative is to expand the Library’s collection of COVID-19 imagery beyond the professional documentary photography that they’ve already commissioned.

“The Library of Congress wants to expand its documentation of the COVID-19 pandemic,” explains the post. “After securing special projects from nationally recognized artists and photographers, the Library is now looking to cover many more parts of the US and many more aspects of the pandemic with the help of your contributions.”

To learn more, or if you’d like to submit any of your own images for consideration, head over to the COVID-19 LOC group page on Flickr by clicking here.