The NSW State Library is the first library in Australia to embrace Flickr Commons , Flickr's online initiative to share the collections of cultural institutions world-wide and increase access to historical photos.
It was launched in January 2008 with the US National Library of Congress putting up an initial 3000 images from its massive collection.
However the NSW State Library was several months behind Sydney's Powerhouse Museum which, in April, became the first museum in the world to put its images on Flickr Commons. It has since been joined by the Smithsonian, the UK's National Media Museum and several others.
The NSW State Library has selected "One hundred quirky and momentous historical 'firsts' captured on film, each with a fascinating story from Australia's past," to launch on Flickr Commons.
The 'Australian Women's Firsts' category celebrates, amongst others, Louise Lovely, Australia's first Hollywood silver screen star. Other categories of 'firsts' include: portraits by Australia's first commercial photographer, George Goodman; the first Australasian Antarctic Expedition with images by Frank Hurley; the opening of the Harbour Bridge; and landmark aviation achievements.
State Librarian Regina Sutton said "the partnership with Flickr will potentially see new information and knowledge added to the images through tagging and user comments, making the collection even richer in content for the community and more accessible than ever before.
"Images will be added to Flickr on a regular basis, providing anyone with an internet connection immediate access to historically significant material from the State Library's extensive collections."