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 of Scotland
  • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
  • Netherlands Institute of Military History
  • The Library of Congress
  • OSU Special Collections & Archives : Commons
  • National Library of Sweden
  • National Library of Norway
  • DC Public Library Commons
  • Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest
  • National Archives of Estonia
  • Preus museum
  • Royal Museums Greenwich
  • UA Archives | Upper Arlington History
  • Gallen-Kallelan Museo
  • IWM Collections
  • LlGC ~ NLW
  • Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office Commons
  • Keene and Cheshire County (NH) Historical Photos
  • Archives of the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle
  • Law Society of Upper Canada Archives
  • Powerhouse Museum Collection
  • National Museum of Denmark
  • Mennonite Church USA Archives
  • State Library of Queensland, Australia
  • Costică Acsinte Archive
  • New York Public Library
  • Royal Australian Historical Society
  • Texas State Archives
  • Swedish National Heritage Board
  • Library Company of Philadelphia
  • Internet Archive Book Images
  • Museum of Hartlepool
  • Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane
  • Nova Scotia Archives
  • The Field Museum Library

A Commons Sampler

Walsh's Royal Mail and Day Car
Walsh's Royal Mail and Day Car
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Next stop, America!
Next stop, America!
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Gas Lamp no. 313
Gas Lamp no. 313
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

View from Katarina Elevator, Stockholm, Sweden
View from Katarina Elevator, Stockholm, Sweden
from Swedish National Heritage Board

The Bridge, Athlone
The Bridge, Athlone
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

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

Police Dog, Tess, 29/1/35 / by Sam Hood
Police Dog, Tess, 29/1/35 / by Sam Hood
from State Library of New South Wales collection

A group of children hoisted by a crane on board HMAS AUSTRALIA II
A group of children hoisted by a crane on board HMAS AUSTRALIA II
from Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons

Potatoes should be dug without delay
Potatoes should be dug without delay
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!!