Photo by George

The Commons

Help us catalog the world’s public photo archives.

The Commons Help us catalog the world’s public photo archives.

Welcome!

The key goal of The Commons is to share hidden treasures from the world's public photography archives.

Please help make the photographs you enjoy more discoverable by adding tags and leaving comments. Your contributions and knowledge make these photos even richer*

A random sprinkling of our participating institutions...

  • Texas State Archives
  • Local History & Archives, Hamilton Public Library
  • JWA Commons
  • Riksarkivet (National Archives of Norway)
  • nha.library
  • National Museum of Denmark
  • Médiathèques Valence Romans agglomération
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives
  • American Aviation Historical Society
  • Galt Museum & Archives on The Commons
  • Musée McCord Museum
  • Stockholm Transport Museum Commons
  • sinaloaarchivohistorico
  • The Gallen-Kallela Museum
  • Deseronto Archives
  • Biblioteca de Arte-Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
  • Schlesinger Library, RIAS, Harvard University
  • State Library and Archives of Florida
  • Australian War Memorial collection
  • Nova Scotia Archives
  • Museum of Photographic Arts Collections
  • Provincial Archives of Alberta
  • IWM Collections
  • The British Library
  • Senado Federal do Brasil
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Keene and Cheshire County (NH) Historical Photos
  • bibliothequedetoulouse
  • Internet Archive Book Images
  • TXSTATE Library Digital Collections
  • State Library of Queensland, Australia
  • LlGC ~ NLW
  • Preus museum
  • National Library of Sweden
  • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

A Commons Sampler

Driving in Donegal
Driving in Donegal
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

The Boys of Ballydehob
The Boys of Ballydehob
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

A Portable Joanna!
A Portable Joanna!
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Lady Waterford
Lady Waterford
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Central Railway Station, Sydney
Central Railway Station, Sydney
from NSW State Archives and Records

Soldier's goodbye & Bobbie the cat, ca. 1939-ca. 1945 / by Sam Hood
Soldier's goodbye & Bobbie the cat, ca. 1939-ca. 1945 / by Sam...
from State Library of New South Wales collection

Group in motor cars, Bunmahon, Co. Waterford
Group in motor cars, Bunmahon, Co. Waterford
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

All of early 20th century transport is here…
All of early 20th century transport is here…
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Sibyl
Sibyl
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

More about The Commons

A new way to share photos on Flickr

The Commons was launched on January 16 2008, when we released our pilot project in partnership with The Library of Congress. Both Flickr and the Library were overwhelmed by the positive response to the project! Thank you!

The program has two main objectives:

  1. To increase access to publicly-held photography collections, and
  2. To provide a way for the general public to contribute information and knowledge. (Then watch what happens when they do!)

FAQ

I work for a cultural heritage institution that would like to be a part of The Commons. How do we do that?

Please let us know you're interested by registering here. It helps a lot if you let us know some background about your institution, and direct us to any online photo collections you already have.

How can I get involved?

We've already seen fantastic contribution from the Flickr membership. Your tags and conversations about the content in The Commons has been wonderful! The best way to get involved is to add a tag or two to the photos you see, and if you happen to know anything else about the subject, by all means add a comment.

What's "no known copyright restrictions?"

This new rights statement is being contained to the institutions participating in The Commons, at the account level. It is a requirement for participation in the program that institutions may rightly claim "no known copyright restrictions" on the content they share. More information.

*Any Flickr member is able to add tags or comment on these collections. If you're a dork about it, shame on you. This is for the good of humanity, dude!!