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...

  • Library Company of Philadelphia
  • The National Archives UK
  • VCU Libraries Commons
  • Nationaal Archief
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives
  • Costică Acsinte Archive
  • Museum of Hartlepool
  • SALT Research
  • TXSTATE Library Digital Collections
  • Musée McCord Museum
  • Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs
  • Royal Museums Greenwich
  • Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons
  • Het Nieuwe Instituut - Architecture Collection
  • National Library of Norway
  • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
  • Archives of the Law Society of Ontario
  • The Graduate Institute, Geneva
  • Bergen Public Library
  • Armenian Studies Program, Fresno State
  • bibliothequedetoulouse
  • Provincial Archives of Alberta
  • Université de Caen Normandie
  • National Library of Medicine - History of Medicine
  • New York Public Library
  • Médiathèques Valence Romans agglomération
  • Museum of Photographic Arts Collections
  • Fotoarkivet NTM
  • JWA Commons
  • Galt Museum & Archives on The Commons
  • State Library of Queensland, Australia
  • State Library of New South Wales collection
  • Halifax Municipal Archives
  • National Science and Media Museum
  • Senado Federal do Brasil

A Commons Sampler

09 17 13_5327_edited-1
09 17 13_5327_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 08 13_4097_edited-1
08 08 13_4097_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5467_edited-1
09 17 13_5467_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

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

09 17 13_5322_edited-1
09 17 13_5322_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5321_edited-1
09 17 13_5321_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 01 13_3759_edited-1
08 01 13_3759_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

Carter Buton Album Loan_00057
Carter Buton Album Loan_00057
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

08 01 13_3755_edited-1
08 01 13_3755_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!!