British Library has over a million images online in the public domain

British Library flickr streamOver the last few years the British Library, has digitised books, manuscripts, and all manner of printed media from their collection. They have compiled over a million images which are released in the public domain so you can use them. Anyone who does collage will enjoy their flickr stream.

They state here on British Library’s site that
We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain.

This amazing resource is fun brouse as there is lots of material that can be used in a collages or be inspiration for designs. Browsing the groups is particularly rewarding but be aware you will get lost as there is a lot to look at! Below are some samples from their site.

British Library images onlineTaken from ”Travels in Tunisia. With a glossary, a map, a bibliography, and fifty illustrations”

British Library images onlineImage taken from page 12 of ‘Wanderings of a Pilgrim in search of the picturesque, during four-and-twenty years in the East; with revelations of life in the Zenana. By Fānī Pārks’

British Library images onlineImage taken from page 221 of ‘Our own country. Descriptive, historical, pictorial.’

British Library images onlineImage taken from page 65 of ‘Reprints of Rare Tracts Imprints of Ancient Manuscripts … chiefly illustrative of the history of the Northern Counties: and printed at the press of M. A. Richardson, Newcastle’

Enjoy the find!

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The History of Typography in 5 minutes

The History of Typography is a creative and pretty cool animation by Ben Barrett-Forrest. Needless to say it is about the history of fonts and typography. Take 5 and spend a few minutes to view and not only will you be entertained I bet you will learn something too.

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Choosing an Eraser

Eraser test screenshot

A screenshot of some of the tests Julie Caves performs to see how various erasers perform

If you have ever been dazzled by how many erasers in an art store you will find Choosing a Rubber: Comparing Erasers is a huge comprehensive article. I know many people think that an eraser is big no-no but that is tosh as erasers can be a great tool for subtractive drawing techniques where you lay down a colour or a layer of graphite then pick out highlights with and eraser. There is also nothing wrong with erasing the odd line or two

Some of the questions Julie tests and discovers the answers for are
“I set out to see if testing would help me sort out the differences between erasers: What rubber removes coloured pencil? Do all rubbers work equally well when ‘drawing’ into charcoal with a rubber? What’s the best rubber to remove the graphite sketch from a finished watercolour painting? Why do some rubbers smear and make a mess? Why do some rubbers damage paper? Is there a rubber that will remove a graphite line in a drawing without lightening the ink line on top?”

Julie Caves first looks at the differences between kneadable putty erasers, gum erasers and vinyl/plastic erasers then sets about testing them.

Also there are some very handy tips – for instance did you know that most erasers are less likely to damage the paper if slightly warm? So hold it for a few minutes in your hand then erase.

Anyway, I think people will find the information in Choosing a Rubber: Comparing Erasers useful. I can’t think of anything Julie has not covered. If you keep a studio journal it is worth printing out and keeping it in your journal or as reference somewhere.

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