Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Take Flight With This Library of Congress Image Collection

The Library of Congress is a great place to find historical pictures, drawings, and maps to use in lesson plans and classroom projects. Finding things on the Library of Congress' website isn't always easy if you only use the search function. But the LOC's Free to Use and Reuse Sets make it much easier to find thematically arranged collections of image and drawings that you can download and use for free.

Recently, the Library of Congress' blog featured the Free to Use and Reuse collection all about aircraft. After reading that post I lost a good twenty of minutes of my day scrolling through the collection and stopping to read a bit about some of the more interesting pictures and drawings. A few that stood out to me were the Farman Flying Machine (the featured image in this post), the Berliner Helicopter, and Professor Lowe in His Balloon. All three of them made me think, "I'd have never gotten in that thing!"

Applications for Education
The images in this collection could be great for bringing an element of history into a physics lesson about aircraft. Some of the images of wing-walkers may spark questions like, "how fast were they flying?" and "what's the slowest the plane could go while still flying forward without losing altitude?"

A similar set of LOC Free to Use and Reuse images sparked my imagination last summer and prompted me to make some vintage travel posters with Canva. You can read about that right here.

If You Care About Copyright, Stop Using Blog Lovin'

As long time followers of my blog and Twitter account know, copyright is a topic that I am passionate about. That's largely due to the quantity of websites that steal my work on a daily basis. Some of them, like the popular Bloglovin' service, claim that they're not doing anything wrong and are actually helping bloggers get more exposure. Both of those claims are false. 

Bloglovin' isn't helping bloggers at all. By republishing entire articles without permission they're violating the original author's copyright. Furthermore, by republishing entire articles they are removing any incentive to visit the actual source of the article which negates Bloglovin's claim that they're helping bloggers get more exposure. 

Google agrees with me on this as evidenced by the fact that every time I file a DMCA takedown notice with Google they remove the offending Bloglovin' URL from their index. 

I made a short, ranting video about this Bloglovin' issue. You can watch it here if you like. Either way, stop using Bloglovin' to read blog posts and instead use a service like Feedly which does things right or just visit your favorite blogs directly.