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...

  • The Graduate Institute, Geneva
  • UBC Library Digitization Centre
  • CDHS
  • Riksarkivet (National Archives of Norway)
  • Deseronto Archives
  • tyrrellhistoricallibrary
  • Internet Archive Book Images
  • UC Berkeley, Department of Geography
  • National Galleries of Scotland Commons
  • Archives of the Law Society of Ontario
  • New York Public Library
  • State Library of Queensland, Australia
  • National Science and Media Museum
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • UA Archives | Upper Arlington History
  • The U.S. National Archives
  • National Library NZ on The Commons
  • Faculty of Music, Trinity Laban
  • Netherlands Institute of Military History
  • SALT Research
  • TXSTATE Library Digital Collections
  • National Library of Ireland on The Commons
  • California Historical Society Digital Collection
  • Regionaal Archief Alkmaar Commons
  • Provincial Archives of Alberta
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives
  • American Aviation Historical Society
  • Keene and Cheshire County (NH) Historical Photos
  • Museum of Photographic Arts Collections
  • Library Company of Philadelphia
  • National Library of Scotland
  • Galt Museum & Archives on The Commons
  • Halifax Municipal Archives
  • Powerhouse Museum Collection
  • Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs

A Commons Sampler

09 17 13_5414_edited-1
09 17 13_5414_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5373_edited-1
09 17 13_5373_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5362_edited-1
09 17 13_5362_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5313_edited-1
09 17 13_5313_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5341_edited-1
09 17 13_5341_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5422_edited-1
09 17 13_5422_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 08 13_4081_edited-1
08 08 13_4081_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 01 13_3752_edited-1
08 01 13_3752_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 08 13_4108_edited-2
08 08 13_4108_edited-2
from Kalamazoo Public Library

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!!