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...

  • Getty Research Institute
  • Powerhouse Museum Collection
  • National Library NZ on The Commons
  • Royal Museums Greenwich
  • Aalto University Library and Archive Commons
  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives
  • LlGC ~ NLW
  • Royal Australian Historical Society
  • Deseronto Archives
  • Archives of the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle
  • nha.library
  • State Library and Archives of Florida
  • National Library of Australia Commons
  • Mississippi Department of Archives and History
  • Fotoarkivet NTM
  • Cornell University Library
  • Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs
  • State Records NSW
  • Nova Scotia Archives
  • Costică Acsinte Archive
  • Library Company of Philadelphia
  • The Library of Congress
  • Miami U. Libraries - Digital Collections
  • The Finnish Museum of Photography
  • Center for Jewish History, NYC
  • National Library of Sweden
  • SMU Central University Libraries
  • Museum of Photographic Arts Collections
  • Texas State Archives
  • Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Galt Museum & Archives on The Commons
  • Stockholm Transport Museum Commons
  • UA Archives | Upper Arlington History
  • Museum of Hartlepool

A Commons Sampler

Image taken from page 729 of 'Geographisch-historisches Handbuch von Bayern'
Image taken from page 729 of 'Geographisch-historisches Handbuch...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 72 of '[A System of Geography, for the use of Schools. Illustrated with more than fifty cerographic maps, and numerous wood-cut engravings.]'
Image taken from page 72 of '[A System of Geography, for the use of...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 309 of 'The Shadow of Hilton Fernbrook. A romance of Maoriland'
Image taken from page 309 of 'The Shadow of Hilton Fernbrook. A...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 931 of '[London, edited by C. K.]'
Image taken from page 931 of '[London, edited by C. K.]'
from The British Library

Image taken from page 45 of 'The edge of the Orient'
Image taken from page 45 of 'The edge of the Orient'
from The British Library

Image taken from page 35 of 'Bachelder's Illustrated Tourist's Guide of the United States. Popular resorts, and how to reach them. Embellished by ... wood engravings, etc'
Image taken from page 35 of 'Bachelder's Illustrated Tourist's...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 438 of 'The Story of Africa and its Explorers. [With plates and maps.]'
Image taken from page 438 of 'The Story of Africa and its...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 75 of 'My Fourth Tour in Western Australia ... Illustrated by Walker Hodgson, etc. [With a portrait.]'
Image taken from page 75 of 'My Fourth Tour in Western Australia...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 53 of 'The Poetical Works of Thomas Chatterton. With an essay on the Rowley Poems by the Rev. Walter W. Skeat ... and a memoir by Edward Bell. [The Rowley poems modernized.]'
Image taken from page 53 of 'The Poetical Works of Thomas...
from The British 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!!