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...

  • National Library of Sweden
  • Local History & Archives, Hamilton Public Library
  • UW Digital Collections
  • Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs
  • Senado Federal do Brasil
  • Deseronto Archives
  • Mennonite Church USA Archives
  • DC Public Library Commons
  • Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland
  • UA Archives | Upper Arlington History
  • NavyMedicine
  • Aalto University Library and Archive Commons
  • Royal Danish Library
  • Provincial Archives of Alberta
  • Netherlands Institute of Military History
  • NSW State Archives and Records
  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Powerhouse Museum Collection
  • The British Library
  • New York Public Library
  • Halifax Municipal Archives
  • National Library of Norway
  • State Library of New South Wales collection
  • National Library NZ on The Commons
  • UL Digital Library
  • Fotoarkivet NTM
  • The Library of Virginia
  • National Library of Ireland on The Commons
  • LSE Library
  • The Library of Congress
  • Nationaal Archief
  • VCU Libraries Commons
  • Presidency Of The Republic Of Turkey Directorate o
  • George Eastman Museum

A Commons Sampler

09 17 13_5349_edited-1
09 17 13_5349_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 01 13_3770_edited-1
08 01 13_3770_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 08 13_4065_edited-1
08 08 13_4065_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5470_edited-1
09 17 13_5470_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5362_edited-1
09 17 13_5362_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5368_edited-1
09 17 13_5368_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 08 13_4091_edited-1
08 08 13_4091_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5407_edited-1
09 17 13_5407_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5363_edited-1
09 17 13_5363_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public 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!!