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...

  • The National Archives UK
  • UL Digital Library
  • Royal Australian Historical Society
  • NASA on The Commons
  • Australian War Memorial collection
  • California Historical Society Digital Collection
  • National Maritime Museum
  • The British Library
  • Dundas Museum and Archives
  • State Library of Queensland, Australia
  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives
  • The Finnish Museum of Photography
  • Mississippi Department of Archives and History
  • State Library and Archives of Florida
  • Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
  • State Records NSW
  • SMU Central University Libraries
  • UA Archives | Upper Arlington History
  • The Field Museum Library
  • Cornell University Library
  • Riksarkivet (National Archives of Norway)
  • Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland
  • Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest
  • New York Public Library
  • The U.S. National Archives
  • Nationaal Archief
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • National Library of Norway
  • Library Company of Philadelphia
  • UW Digital Collections
  • George Eastman House
  • National Library of Australia Commons
  • Getty Research Institute
  • Texas State Archives
  • LlGC ~ NLW

A Commons Sampler

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

Carter Buton Album Loan_00005
Carter Buton Album Loan_00005
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00020
Carter Buton Album Loan_00020
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00024
Carter Buton Album Loan_00024
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00007
Carter Buton Album Loan_00007
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00131
Carter Buton Album Loan_00131
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00086
Carter Buton Album Loan_00086
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00014
Carter Buton Album Loan_00014
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00029
Carter Buton Album Loan_00029
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!!