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...

  • Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office Commons
  • Miami U. Libraries - Digital Collections
  • Stockholm Transport Museum Commons
  • Deseronto Archives
  • National Library of Medicine - History of Medicine
  • The U.S. National Archives
  • Fotoarkivet NTM
  • State Library of Queensland, Australia
  • California Historical Society Digital Collection
  • National Library of Scotland
  • Archives of the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle
  • UBC Library Digitization Centre
  • National Library of Ireland on The Commons
  • Senado Federal do Brasil
  • tyrrellhistoricallibrary
  • Internet Archive Book Images
  • UL Digital Library
  • SMU Central University Libraries
  • National Library of Australia Commons
  • Mennonite Church USA Archives
  • nimhimages
  • UW Digital Collections
  • DC Public Library Commons
  • IWM Collections
  • National Media Museum
  • Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives
  • SALTOnline
  • State Library of New South Wales collection
  • Dundas Museum and Archives
  • Bergen Public Library
  • Aalto University Library and Archive Commons
  • Getty Research Institute
  • LlGC ~ NLW
  • Local History & Archives, Hamilton Public Library

A Commons Sampler

Rickshaw hauling straw, India, 1952
Rickshaw hauling straw, India, 1952
from Mennonite Church USA Archives

Deepening water well, India, 1950
Deepening water well, India, 1950
from Mennonite Church USA Archives

ca_20150331_007
ca_20150331_007
from Costică Acsinte Archive

Cuyahoga River from Viaduct
Cuyahoga River from Viaduct
from Miami U. Libraries - Digital Collections

Townshend Hall at Ohio State University
Townshend Hall at Ohio State University
from Miami U. Libraries - Digital Collections

Highland Institute
Highland Institute
from Miami U. Libraries - Digital Collections

AWL Bldg. at Columbus State Hospital
AWL Bldg. at Columbus State Hospital
from Miami U. Libraries - Digital Collections

Hospital for Insane
Hospital for Insane
from Miami U. Libraries - Digital Collections

Cuyahoga River Scene
Cuyahoga River Scene
from Miami U. Libraries - Digital Collections

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!!