Last week on Facebook, I posted up a image that my colleague found for Shark Week. It wasn’t a biological shark, but a mechanical one. The caption provided some basic information: “A Chinese soldier guards a line of American P-40 fighter planes, painted with the shark-face emblem of the ‘Flying Tigers,’ at a flying field somewhere in China. The American pursuit planes have a 12-to-1 victory ratio over the Japanese., ca. 1942.”
The comments in the post, however, provided far more information! Facebook users launched into a knowledgeable discussion of dates, forces, and plane types.
But if anyone used our Online Public Access search engine (OPA) to search the online holdings of the National Archives using the words that came up in the discussion (“23rd Fighter Group” or ”Kunming” or “Zhongzheng Type-24,”) this photograph would not appear. A possibly useful record would not make its way to a researcher.
This is why the Archivist has invited “citizens archivists” to join him in crowdsourcing our vast holdings by tagging images and photographs. Users who have knowledge about our holdings can assign tags that make records more findeable for fellow users.
Already, users have contributed hundred of tags. Are you interested in joining the fun? We’d like your help! To learn more about the project, sign up, and start tagging, go here.
Interested in learning more about those strange shark planes? Here’s a … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on August 8, 2011, under - World War II, Social Media Guides.
Tags: 23rd Fighter Group, American Volunteer Group, china, crowdsourcing, Kunming, Online Public Access, OPA, P-40 fighter planes, shark, Zhongzheng Type-24