The New York Public Library and Kaltura, Inc., a pioneer in Collaborative Media, announced today that the organizations have joined forces to further enhance online rich-media collaboration. The New York Public Library’s treasure trove of 600,000 digital images can now be incorporated easily into Kaltura’s group video projects. The library’s digital collection includes a wide range of rare and unique images drawn from its research collections. These range from Civil War photographs and illuminated Medieval manuscripts to historic views of New York City, Yiddish theatre placards and 19th Century restaurant menus. Users can search, preview and add these library images directly from the Kaltura web site (To try it, go to http://www.kaltura.com, click ‘start a kaltura’).
“Kaltura is a good fit for The New York Public Library as we work to take advantage of the latest technologies and approaches to make our collection freely and widely accessible,” said Joshua M. Greenberg, Director of Digital Strategy and Scholarship at The New York Public Library. “We are excited to enable the use of our extensive Digital Gallery of historical images in Kaltura’s cutting-edge and innovative application. Working with Kaltura was a natural step in enabling the creative use of these rich materials in the broader online world.”
Kaltura enables groups of users to collaborate in the creation of videos and slideshows, similar to the way in which Wiki platforms allow users to collaborate with text. When creating a Kaltura video, users can upload their own videos, photos, audio and animation, can import their previously uploaded material from MySpace, Photobucket or YouTube, or they can access and import rich-media from various public-domain and CreativeCommons sources such as Flickr, CCMixter, Jamendo, and now The New York Public Library. Kaltura aims to team with additional databases and digital resource partners in order to both provide users with the widest array of rich-media, and to provide its resource partners with access to Kaltura’s Global Network of users, content, and services that allows unprecedented collaboration around rich-media creation, remixing and distribution.
“We strive to provide users with the most comprehensive, enjoyable and user-friendly experience possible when creating their collaborative Kalturas in a fun, safe, and legal environment; The New York Public Library database is a huge addition to resources that we offer, both in terms of its size and the great value that it brings,” said Ron Yekutiel, Chairman and CEO of Kaltura.
“Kaltura was built around the principles of openness and sharing with the mission to enhance collaboration and to lower the barriers of participation – it is through partners with a similar vision, like The New York Public Library, that we can achieve our goal of delivering the world’s first open platform for peer production of rich media, with the broadest access to rich-media materials, resources and databases,” Yekutiel added. “We are truly honored by this collaboration.”
Kaltura is working on incorporating several additional sources and databases in order to further expand the platform of resources available to users at http://www.kaltura.com and through Kaltura’s licensing partners.
About NYPL Digital
A rich treasury of digital materials is available to the public, free of charge in the Digital Gallery (www.nypl.org.) The 600,000 images of items such as rare manuscripts, photographs, maps and historic illustrations were selected by curators from the four New York Public Library Research Libraries: the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Science, Industry and Business Library. The materials were chosen based on demand by the public, a desire to highlight particular collecting strengths of the Library, the fragility of original materials whose preservation would be aided by use of digital surrogates, large or ungainly formats that make materials difficult to handle in person, and interest in giving attention to worthy but little-known materials.
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. It comprises four research centers – The Humanities and Social Sciences Library; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the Science, Industry and Business Library – and 87 Branch Libraries in Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English as a second language. The New York Public Library serves over 16 million patrons who come through its doors annually and another 25 million users internationally, who access collections and services through its website, http://www.nypl.org.
Kaltura is a New York-based pioneer in Collaborative Media, allowing groups of users to create rich-media projects together using video, audio, and animation, similarly to what wiki platforms enable with text. Kaltura’s revolutionary concept of group-video-making enables existing affinity groups to ‘get creative together’. It provides the incentive and opportunity for people to ‘lean forward’ and create rich-media with friends and like-minded people. Kaltura’s technology is implemented in the kaltura.com portal, where group-video-making is available to all for free, and is also licensed to other websites, social networks, and brands for their customized and integrated use. Founded in 2006, Kaltura’s management and advisory team includes top notch advertising, marketing, and media executives as well as seasoned technology entrepreneurs, including co-founders of ICQ, Cyota, and Destinator Technologies. The Company is backed by Avalon Ventures, a San Diego based venture capital fund focused on wireless techn ology, life science, and Web 2.0. For more information visit http://www.kaltura.com or visit the Kaltura blog at http://www.kaltura.com/blog/.