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...

  • State Library and Archives of Florida
  • Netherlands Institute of Military History
  • Swedish National Heritage Board
  • National Library of Medicine - History of Medicine
  • Riksarkivet (National Archives of Norway)
  • The Library of Congress
  • Stockholm Transport Museum Commons
  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives
  • Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane
  • The Finnish Museum of Photography
  • OSU Special Collections & Archives : Commons
  • Miami U. Libraries - Digital Collections
  • Local History & Archives, Hamilton Public Library
  • Aalto University Library and Archive Commons
  • Powerhouse Museum Collection
  • Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada
  • Nova Scotia Archives
  • The Royal Library, Denmark
  • Keene and Cheshire County (NH) Historical Photos
  • National Library of Ireland on The Commons
  • Law Society of Upper Canada Archives
  • The Graduate Institute, Geneva
  • Vestfoldmuseene | Vestfold Museums
  • Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland
  • Cornell University Library
  • The Library of Virginia
  • Royal Museums Greenwich
  • Museum of Hartlepool
  • tyrrellhistoricallibrary
  • Université de Caen Basse-Normandie
  • Faculty of Music, Trinity Laban
  • SMU Central University Libraries
  • Archives of the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle
  • UBC Library Digitization Centre
  • The National Archives UK

A Commons Sampler

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

Potatoes should be dug without delay
Potatoes should be dug without delay
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

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

Next stop, America!
Next stop, America!
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Diaphalene for dainty lingerie
Diaphalene for dainty lingerie
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Messrs J.F. O'Gorman, Clonmel
Messrs J.F. O'Gorman, Clonmel
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Tunnel
Tunnel
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Image of a four masted barque LYDERHORN at anchor
Image of a four masted barque LYDERHORN at anchor
from Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons

The Boys of Ballydehob
The Boys of Ballydehob
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

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!!