I wanted to design something to send to my friends as a Christmas message. I’d been looking around for inspiration when I heard that the British Library had released a million free-use images onto Flickr. My first thought was to dig around for some Victorian Christmas imagery, something Dickensian with feasting and sleigh rides – someone had even created a set of all the Christmas images they’d found, most of which were just the kind of thing I was expecting.
The more I looked though, the more interesting material I found and I eventually came across a Victorian map of someone’s travels round the world and, separately, the stamp of the Royal Geographical Society.
Probably because I’ve been reading Alan Moore’s From Hell, I immediately assumed that the Royal Geographical Society would have a secretive wing (reporting only to Queen Victoria, arriving at the palace under cover of darkness), and what else would they do at Christmas but track Santa’s movements?
After a bit of Photoshop, I sent this out:
I found this secret Victorian report on Santa’s movements in the new @britishlibrary Flickr collection pic.twitter.com/RYBuXfbO7E
– Peter Clarke (@peter_s_clarke) December 23, 2013
Given how close it was to Christmas and how hard they’d been pushing the release of their images on Twitter, I was hoping the British Library might retweet it and they did, which considering they have over 500K followers was great news. Then the retweets really started, eventually reaching over 225, with almost one hundred favourites as well as lots of nice conversations! Not bad at all for a couple of hours work on a Sunday afternoon.
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