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...

  • National Library NZ on The Commons
  • Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs
  • Center for Jewish History, NYC
  • UA Archives | Upper Arlington History
  • NASA on The Commons
  • Schlesinger Library, RIAS, Harvard University
  • State Library and Archives of Florida
  • Bergen Public Library
  • National Media Museum
  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives
  • Powerhouse Museum Collection
  • Swedish National Heritage Board
  • National Library of Australia Commons
  • State Library of Queensland, Australia
  • National Archives of Estonia
  • LSE Library
  • tyrrellhistoricallibrary
  • Dundas Museum and Archives
  • Australian War Memorial collection
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives
  • Het Nieuwe Instituut - Architecture Collection
  • The British Library
  • VCU Libraries Commons
  • Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland
  • The Library of Virginia
  • UL Digital Library
  • Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
  • Museum of Photographic Arts Collections
  • Keene and Cheshire County (NH) Historical Photos
  • National Museum of Denmark
  • Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane
  • Texas State Archives
  • The Field Museum Library
  • Law Society of Upper Canada Archives
  • George Eastman House

A Commons Sampler

Granada, Spain
Granada, Spain
from Swedish National Heritage Board

Written out of history
Written out of history
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

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

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

Grafton Street in all its glory
Grafton Street in all its glory
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

XXI OCTOBER MDCCCV
XXI OCTOBER MDCCCV
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Trevor Hill, Newry
Trevor Hill, Newry
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Man and woman at Warwick Farm racecourse
Man and woman at Warwick Farm racecourse
from Powerhouse Museum Collection

Lady Waterford
Lady Waterford
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!!