So many disparate image repositories out there! Although I’m working with an American artist, which should make things easy for an American researcher, her work exists in mulitple GLAM collections, some of which present images in a straightforward, scoopable format, some of which offer them as individual web pages. And that doesn’t even include non-image collections. Here are a few:
In general, I’ve discovered repositories that include images (with or without metadata) by considering Whitman’s formats: portraits, still lifes in museum collections; book covers in rare book collections; stained glass windows on church and preservation society web sites; a mix of various media and photos of Ms. Whitman in ARTstor. Tracking them down is a great hunt.
An intentional archive would be difficult, but possible; the biggest obstacle appears to be the poor quality of metadata slurped from Flickr by Zotero (the largest collection by far is the Boston Public Library’s Flickr album of SWW’s bindings). Perhaps there’s a better importer? This post seems to indicate that Zotero can harvest from Flickr pretty well. But I tried a number of experiments and none of them worked, so perhaps an update is needed (Flickr has recent made a number of changes to its interface and functionality).