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...

  • Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest
  • Biblioteca de Arte-Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
  • Powerhouse Museum Collection
  • UL Digital Library
  • George Eastman House
  • Law Society of Upper Canada Archives
  • bibliothequedetoulouse
  • Royal Australian Historical Society
  • DEXTRA Photo
  • Schlesinger Library, RIAS, Harvard University
  • Center for Jewish History, NYC
  • National Library of Sweden
  • National Library of Ireland on The Commons
  • Provincial Archives of Alberta
  • Het Nieuwe Instituut - Architecture Collection
  • Musée McCord Museum
  • Ljósmyndasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavík Museum of
  • California Historical Society Digital Collection
  • Mennonite Church USA Archives
  • Galt Museum & Archives on The Commons
  • Nova Scotia Archives
  • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
  • Deseronto Archives
  • National Library of Australia Commons
  • Texas State Archives
  • Dundas Museum and Archives
  • UW Digital Collections
  • Mississippi Department of Archives and History
  • New York Public Library
  • LSE Library
  • Getty Research Institute
  • OSU Special Collections & Archives : Commons
  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives
  • The Royal Library, Denmark
  • Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs

A Commons Sampler

'Farm Cove' RAHS/Osborne Collection
'Farm Cove' RAHS/Osborne Collection
from Royal Australian Historical Society

Trøndelag Eggcentral
Trøndelag Eggcentral
from National Library of Norway

ben_003
ben_003
from Bergen Public Library

'Elizabeth Bay 3' RAHS/Osborne Collection
'Elizabeth Bay 3' RAHS/Osborne Collection
from Royal Australian Historical Society

'HMS Sussex' RAHS/Osborne Collection
'HMS Sussex' RAHS/Osborne Collection
from Royal Australian Historical Society

'Circular Quay' RAHS/Osborne Collection
'Circular Quay' RAHS/Osborne Collection
from Royal Australian Historical Society

'Evening Clouds' RAHS/Osborne Collection
'Evening Clouds' RAHS/Osborne Collection
from Royal Australian Historical Society

'Fig Tree Bridge' RAHS/Osborne Collection
'Fig Tree Bridge' RAHS/Osborne Collection
from Royal Australian Historical Society

'Kings Cross - A Bleak Winter Day' RAHS/Osborne Collection
'Kings Cross - A Bleak Winter Day' RAHS/Osborne Collection
from Royal Australian Historical Society

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!!