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...

  • Fotoarkivet NTM
  • National Library of Scotland
  • New York Public Library
  • VCU Libraries Commons
  • Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada
  • National Museum of Denmark
  • Royal Australian Historical Society
  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives
  • National Library of Norway
  • George Eastman House
  • National Library of Ireland on The Commons
  • Getty Research Institute
  • Dundas Museum and Archives
  • State Library of Queensland, Australia
  • Schlesinger Library, RIAS, Harvard University
  • Law Society of Upper Canada Archives
  • The National Archives UK
  • National Library of Australia Commons
  • Texas State Archives
  • SALTOnline
  • State Library and Archives of Florida
  • Center for Jewish History, NYC
  • The Finnish Museum of Photography
  • tyrrellhistoricallibrary
  • Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland
  • NASA on The Commons
  • Mississippi Department of Archives and History
  • Australian War Memorial collection
  • Université de Caen Basse-Normandie
  • National Library NZ on The Commons
  • SMU Central University Libraries
  • bibliothequedetoulouse
  • DC Public Library Commons
  • Ljósmyndasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavík Museum of
  • State Records NSW

A Commons Sampler

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

Carter Buton Album Loan_00072
Carter Buton Album Loan_00072
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00114
Carter Buton Album Loan_00114
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00046
Carter Buton Album Loan_00046
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00092
Carter Buton Album Loan_00092
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00101
Carter Buton Album Loan_00101
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00048
Carter Buton Album Loan_00048
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_00100
Carter Buton Album Loan_00100
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!!