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.


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...

  • Faculty of Music, Trinity Laban
  • Local History & Archives, Hamilton Public Library
  • National Museum of Denmark
  • Royal Australian Historical Society
  • Dundas Museum and Archives
  • National Media Museum
  • National Library of Australia Commons
  • IWM Collections
  • UL Digital Library
  • OSU Special Collections & Archives : Commons
  • Ljósmyndasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavík Museum of
  • Center for Jewish History, NYC
  • Université de Caen Basse-Normandie
  • Swedish National Heritage Board
  • Fotoarkivet NTM
  • Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
  • National Library of Sweden
  • NASA on The Commons
  • DC Public Library Commons
  • UW Digital Collections
  • LlGC ~ NLW
  • Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs
  • Texas State Archives
  • Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane
  • State Records NSW
  • Costică Acsinte Archive
  • UBC Library Digitization Centre
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives
  • Nova Scotia Archives
  • Bergen Public Library
  • National Library of Scotland
  • The U.S. National Archives
  • The National Archives UK
  • Stockholm Transport Museum Commons
  • Nationaal Archief

A Commons Sampler

Guns on St. Louis (LOC)
Guns on St. Louis (LOC)
from The Library of Congress

Apollo 16 Recovery
Apollo 16 Recovery
from NASA on The Commons

Bruce McCandless on mid-deck
Bruce McCandless on mid-deck
from NASA on The Commons

German prisoners in France (LOC)
German prisoners in France (LOC)
from The Library of Congress

Jap[anese] boys drilling (LOC)
Jap[anese] boys drilling (LOC)
from The Library of Congress

Corn field with barn, date unknown
Corn field with barn, date unknown
from Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol

Lambert Murphy (LOC)
Lambert Murphy (LOC)
from The Library of Congress

Space Shuttle Endeavour Rollout
Space Shuttle Endeavour Rollout
from NASA on The Commons

8. Üksteist tunti ära ning valati tundeliselt pisaraid.
8. Üksteist tunti ära ning valati tundeliselt pisaraid.
from National Archives of Estonia

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!)


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!!