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...

  • tyrrellhistoricallibrary
  • The Library of Virginia
  • Biblioteca de Arte-Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
  • Regionaal Archief Alkmaar Commons
  • Library Company of Philadelphia
  • New York Public Library
  • Royal Museums Greenwich
  • Senado Federal do Brasil
  • NSW State Archives and Records
  • bibliothequedetoulouse
  • CDHS
  • National Library NZ on The Commons
  • Texas State Archives
  • NASA on The Commons
  • Aalto University Library and Archive Commons
  • Fotoarkivet NTM
  • IWM Collections
  • Galt Museum & Archives on The Commons
  • The U.S. National Archives
  • Archives of the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle
  • Cornell University Library
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Faculty of Music, Trinity Laban
  • Royal Danish Library
  • LlGC ~ NLW
  • Ljósmyndasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavík Museum of
  • Halifax Municipal Archives
  • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
  • Royal Australian Historical Society
  • Museum of Photographic Arts Collections
  • The Field Museum Library
  • Mennonite Church USA Archives
  • National Library of Australia Commons
  • Archives of the Law Society of Ontario
  • Stockholm Transport Museum Commons

A Commons Sampler

09 17 13_5325_edited-1
09 17 13_5325_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

Carter Buton Album Loan_00100
Carter Buton Album Loan_00100
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

08 08 13_4099_edited-1
08 08 13_4099_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 01 13_3745_edited-1
08 01 13_3745_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 01 13_3778_edited-1
08 01 13_3778_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5362_edited-1
09 17 13_5362_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5317_edited-1
09 17 13_5317_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5359_edited-1
09 17 13_5359_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5396_edited-1
09 17 13_5396_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!!