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...

  • Nova Scotia Archives
  • Deseronto Archives
  • UL Digital Library
  • The Library of Virginia
  • IWM Collections
  • SMU Central University Libraries
  • National Library of Ireland on The Commons
  • Library Company of Philadelphia
  • Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland
  • Mississippi Department of Archives and History
  • Australian War Memorial collection
  • Internet Archive Book Images
  • National Library of Norway
  • Fotoarkivet NTM
  • The National Archives UK
  • The Royal Library, Denmark
  • Preus museum
  • UBC Library Digitization Centre
  • Nationaal Archief
  • Swedish National Heritage Board
  • State Library of Queensland, Australia
  • The Finnish Museum of Photography
  • CDHS
  • New York Public Library
  • Local History & Archives, Hamilton Public Library
  • Het Nieuwe Instituut - Architecture Collection
  • Schlesinger Library, RIAS, Harvard University
  • Riksarkivet (National Archives of Norway)
  • Dundas Museum and Archives
  • The U.S. National Archives
  • Museum of Hartlepool
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives
  • Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest
  • Stockholm Transport Museum Commons
  • Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs

A Commons Sampler

Image taken from page 233 of 'London and its Environs. A picturesque survey of the metropolis and the suburbs ... Translated by Henry Frith. With ... illustrations'
Image taken from page 233 of 'London and its Environs. A...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 24 of 'Easy Lessons in General Geography, with maps and illustrations, etc'
Image taken from page 24 of 'Easy Lessons in General Geography,...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 131 of 'Art and Song. A series of original ... engravings from masterpieces of art of the nineteenth century accompanied by a selection of the choicest poems in the English language. Edited by R. Bell'
Image taken from page 131 of 'Art and Song. A series of original...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 184 of 'Weary Wealth. A novel'
Image taken from page 184 of 'Weary Wealth. A novel'
from The British Library

Image taken from page 53 of 'The Poetical Works of Thomas Chatterton. With an essay on the Rowley Poems by the Rev. Walter W. Skeat ... and a memoir by Edward Bell. [The Rowley poems modernized.]'
Image taken from page 53 of 'The Poetical Works of Thomas...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 348 of 'The Story of the City of New York ... Illustrated'
Image taken from page 348 of 'The Story of the City of New York ......
from The British Library

Image taken from page 75 of 'My Fourth Tour in Western Australia ... Illustrated by Walker Hodgson, etc. [With a portrait.]'
Image taken from page 75 of 'My Fourth Tour in Western Australia...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 54 of 'About Yorkshire, etc'
Image taken from page 54 of 'About Yorkshire, etc'
from The British Library

Image taken from page 102 of 'The Wards of Plotinus. [A novel.]'
Image taken from page 102 of 'The Wards of Plotinus. [A novel.]'
from The British 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!!