Faced with the massive task of putting its images into a useful catalog, the George Eastman House photography museum partnered with Clickworker to harness the power of crowdsourcing. The end result will turn the museum’s collections into a searchable library of photos that would otherwise never be fully appreciated – in either sense of the word.

The project involves photo-tagging and cataloging more than 400,000 images from George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, which was founded in 1947 on the estate of Kodak founder George Eastman. Due to the nature of the work, computers can’t really help with the task. Clickworker has more than 115,000 independent contractors who use the company’s web-based platform to input the relevant information as determined individually by human inspection according to criteria provided by the museum.

“Our partnership with Clickworker enables us to make our photographs searchable and ultimately make our collections more accessible to the world,” said Dr. Anthony Bannon, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director at George Eastman House.

Included among the photo collections now being tagged, many of which will be publicly seen for the first time, are images of the conspirators in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the construction of the Empire State Building, and portraits of well-known people like Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Frida Kahlo.

“Clickworker is excited to help the renowned George Eastman House archive world art and history in our latest corporate responsibility project,” said Wolfgang Kitza, Clickworker CEO. “It’s not just one country or one cause – but we’re actually helping archive the world. The collection offers the most intimate look at the pioneers of photography and their art.”

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Photo of a visitor examining a phenakistoscope courtesy of George Eastman House