Are you an artist in need of inspiration? Do you really need those creative juices to flow? Has the writer’s block lasted too long? We have a secret source of visual inspiration for you. The British Library has collection of over a million copyright-free vintage images available for download! This collection of images on Flickr are taken from books of the 17th, 18th and 19th Century – so well out of copyright. They are vaguely arranged by theme: book covers, cycling, illustrated lettering, comic art, ships or children’s book illustration. The catalogued images are posted to Flickr by a mechanical curator – a bot that randomly picks and posts images from all of the books the library has digitised since 2013. Though the source of all images are not known the library plans to launch a crowdsourcing application that will allow them and viewers to get a better understanding of the photographs and illustrations in their archive.
Here are some of our personal favourites-