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...

  • Royal Australian Historical Society
  • Biblioteca de Arte-Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
  • The U.S. National Archives
  • Preus museum
  • Swedish National Heritage Board
  • Powerhouse Museum Collection
  • IWM Collections
  • Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons
  • Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland
  • Law Society of Upper Canada Archives
  • Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
  • Miami U. Libraries - Digital Collections
  • Texas State Archives
  • Mennonite Church USA Archives
  • Faculty of Music, Trinity Laban
  • UW Digital Collections
  • Center for Jewish History, NYC
  • tyrrellhistoricallibrary
  • Directorate General of Press and Information
  • Stockholm Transport Museum Commons
  • bibliothequedetoulouse
  • Mississippi Department of Archives and History
  • Aalto University Library and Archive Commons
  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives
  • Schlesinger Library, RIAS, Harvard University
  • VCU Libraries Commons
  • The Graduate Institute, Geneva
  • State Records NSW
  • The Finnish Museum of Photography
  • The Royal Library, Denmark
  • UBC Library Digitization Centre
  • The British Library
  • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
  • Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol
  • Riksarkivet (National Archives of Norway)

A Commons Sampler

Carter Buton Album Loan_00103
Carter Buton Album Loan_00103
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00028
Carter Buton Album Loan_00028
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00113
Carter Buton Album Loan_00113
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00079
Carter Buton Album Loan_00079
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00100
Carter Buton Album Loan_00100
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Photograph of William Ralph Meredith
Photograph of William Ralph Meredith
from Law Society of Upper Canada Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00008
Carter Buton Album Loan_00008
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00051
Carter Buton Album Loan_00051
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00069
Carter Buton Album Loan_00069
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

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!!