Canadian images and documents from the 19th century and early 20th century are getting the 21st century treatment on the online photo sharing network Flickr as part of a new project by Library and Archives Canada.

The project aims to make the heritage artifacts more accessible, the federal government agency says.

About 80 scanned photos and documents of Irish-Canadian history have been posted and tagged with geographic information for the public to comment on and tag as part of the 2008 Irish Studies Symposium. The two-day meeting of historians, students, genealogists, and researchers wrapped up Tuesday in Ottawa.

Kyle Browness, a project manager at Library and Archives Canada, said the ability to get archival documents "out there" and the interactivity of the medium are what makes the site attractive.

"We really want to get a conversation going, and discussion," he said, adding that the tags help other historians find information. Browness said several other libraries and museums around also post on Flickr.

Library and Archives also plans to start posting videos on Youtube, starting with presentations from the symposium.

Ruth Blair, a professional genealogist from Oakville who was attending the symposium said she thinks the initiative is a good idea that will reach a larger, younger segment of the population that isn't likely to hang out on Library and Archives Canada's own website.

"But they will go in and sort of play around and find out what's on Flickr."