Countess Ada Lovelace is an important part of computing history as the world’s first programmer, but images of her are few and far between. The Ada Picture Gallery collected all the free for non-commercial reuse images they could find. They are nearly all based on only two sources: A full-length oil painting of Ada as a young woman by Margaret Carpenter, and an engraved and colored portrait of her from the waist up, drawn by A. E. Chaton. Both are stylized according to the tastes of the time and it’s not entirely clear what Ada really looked like (other than having a lot of stuff in her hair). None of the available images are optimized for either printing or the computer screen.
For the Ada Initiative Seed 100 fund-raising campaign, we commissioned a modern, cleaned-up, printing-friendly portrait of Ada Lovelace from illustrator Colin Adams. In keeping with our goals and ethics as an open technology and culture organization, we are now officially releasing the portrait under the Creative Commons Zero license. This means it is free for reuse either commercially or non-commercially, with or without modification, and with or without attribution (although if you’d like to give attribution, Colin Adams is the artist, and the Ada Initiative is the copyright holder). Download a variety of formats here; please send us new formats and sizes and we’ll add them.
If you donate to the Ada Initiative Seed 100 funding-raising campaign at the Analytical Engineer level before June 30th, you will receive a high-quality 11″x15″ print of this portrait, signed by either Valerie Aurora or Mary Gardiner. You can print your own version, of course, but you won’t have the satisfaction of supporting women in open technology and culture at this crucial phase.
Please reuse, remix, and spread the word about this portrait. Raising awareness of the world’s first computer programmer is one way to fight gender stereotypes keeping women out of computing-related careers. Thank you!