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...

  • New York Public Library
  • UL Digital Library
  • State Library of New South Wales collection
  • Keene and Cheshire County (NH) Historical Photos
  • The Library of Congress
  • The Library of Virginia
  • Museum of Hartlepool
  • The Royal Library, Denmark
  • National Library of Australia Commons
  • Nova Scotia Archives
  • Costică Acsinte Archive
  • LlGC ~ NLW
  • Provincial Archives of Alberta
  • Deseronto Archives
  • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
  • UW Digital Collections
  • The Field Museum Library
  • bibliothequedetoulouse
  • National Archives of Estonia
  • National Media Museum
  • The Finnish Museum of Photography
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Royal Australian Historical Society
  • Getty Research Institute
  • George Eastman House
  • National Library of Scotland
  • Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs
  • Stockholm Transport Museum Commons
  • Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland
  • Galt Museum & Archives on The Commons
  • nha.library
  • Musée McCord Museum
  • Swedish National Heritage Board
  • Het Nieuwe Instituut - Architecture Collection
  • OSU Special Collections & Archives : Commons

A Commons Sampler

Boons and Blessings
Boons and Blessings
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Slussen area in Stockholm, Södermanland, Sweden
Slussen area in Stockholm, Södermanland, Sweden
from Swedish National Heritage Board

Evacuation of Spike Island
Evacuation of Spike Island
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Keep Off Propellor
Keep Off Propellor
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

What? Where? Why?
What? Where? Why?
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Telegraph Office, but where? Adrigole, that's where!
Telegraph Office, but where? Adrigole, that's where!
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Coming of Age
Coming of Age
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Racegoers at Warwick Farm racecourse
Racegoers at Warwick Farm racecourse
from Powerhouse Museum Collection

Soldier's goodbye & Bobbie the cat, ca. 1939-ca. 1945 / by Sam Hood
Soldier's goodbye & Bobbie the cat, ca. 1939-ca. 1945 / by Sam...
from State Library of New South Wales collection

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!!