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...

  • Vestfoldmuseene | Vestfold Museums
  • UBC Library Digitization Centre
  • Het Nieuwe Instituut - Architecture Collection
  • The Finnish Museum of Photography
  • Keene and Cheshire County (NH) Historical Photos
  • Schlesinger Library, RIAS, Harvard University
  • National Library of Scotland
  • Cornell University Library
  • National Library of Australia Commons
  • Miami U. Libraries - Digital Collections
  • Biblioteca de Arte-Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
  • Local History & Archives, Hamilton Public Library
  • Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane
  • Université de Caen Basse-Normandie
  • Powerhouse Museum Collection
  • UL Digital Library
  • NASA on The Commons
  • Center for Jewish History, NYC
  • Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons
  • National Galleries of Scotland Commons
  • Swedish National Heritage Board
  • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
  • SMU Central University Libraries
  • State Library of New South Wales collection
  • Museum of Hartlepool
  • CDHS
  • Museum of Photographic Arts Collections
  • Preus museum
  • Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office Commons
  • Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest
  • Musée McCord Museum
  • National Library NZ on The Commons
  • UA Archives | Upper Arlington History
  • OSU Special Collections & Archives : Commons
  • Deseronto Archives

A Commons Sampler

Peggy Bacon in mid-air backflip, Bondi Beach, Sydney, 6/2/1937 / by Ted Hood
Peggy Bacon in mid-air backflip, Bondi Beach, Sydney, 6/2/1937 / by...
from State Library of New South Wales collection

Besties!
Besties!
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Election night crowd, Wellington, 1931
Election night crowd, Wellington, 1931
from National Library NZ on The Commons

Telephone Boxes
Telephone Boxes
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

What? Where? Why?
What? Where? Why?
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Merchants Quay, Newry
Merchants Quay, Newry
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Police Dog, Tess, 29/1/35 / by Sam Hood
Police Dog, Tess, 29/1/35 / by Sam Hood
from State Library of New South Wales collection

Meet you under the clock at Clery's
Meet you under the clock at Clery's
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Valentina Blinova in L'Oiseau de feu [The Firebird], Ballets Russes, Sydney, 1936-1937 / Max Dupain
Valentina Blinova in L'Oiseau de feu [The Firebird], Ballets...
from State Library of New South Wales collection

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!!