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.


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...

  • Mennonite Church USA Archives
  • Internet Archive Book Images
  • Armenian Studies Program, Fresno State
  • Liberas
  • Cornell University Library
  • Royal Museums Greenwich
  • The Library of Virginia
  • Presidency Of The Republic Of Turkey Directorate o
  • The Graduate Institute, Geneva
  • LSE Library
  • Fylkesarkivet i Vestland
  • Médiathèques Valence Romans agglomération
  • Vestfoldmuseene | Vestfold Museums
  • Powerhouse Museum Collection
  • The Field Museum Library
  • Australian War Memorial collection
  • Provincial Archives of Alberta
  • Swedish National Heritage Board
  • National Library of Norway
  • Library Company of Philadelphia
  • UA Archives | Upper Arlington History
  • Cloyne & District Historical Society
  • State Library and Archives of Florida
  • National Science and Media Museum
  • UVicLibraries
  • Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest
  • Halifax Municipal Archives
  • National Library of Australia Commons
  • Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland
  • Het Nieuwe Instituut - Architecture Collection
  • Stockholm Transport Museum Commons
  • California Historical Society Digital Collection
  • Center for Jewish History, NYC
  • Local History & Archives, Hamilton Public Library
  • SALT Research

A Commons Sampler

N_89_1_51 Hotel Lake Waccamaw
N_89_1_51 Hotel Lake Waccamaw

NO_47_10_234 Tabor City NC-Tater Day 1947
NO_47_10_234 Tabor City NC-Tater Day 1947

Mary Maguire No. 52
Mary Maguire No. 52
from Preus museum

NO_47_10_243 Tabor City NC-Tater Day 1947
NO_47_10_243 Tabor City NC-Tater Day 1947


Dorothy Arnold No. 9
Dorothy Arnold No. 9
from Preus museum


Olivia De Havilland  No. 13
Olivia De Havilland No. 13
from Preus museum


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!)


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!!