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...

  • Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
  • Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane
  • The Royal Library, Denmark
  • Nova Scotia Archives
  • Mennonite Church USA Archives
  • Miami U. Libraries - Digital Collections
  • Dundas Museum and Archives
  • Nationaal Archief
  • Royal Australian Historical Society
  • The British Library
  • The Finnish Museum of Photography
  • LlGC ~ NLW
  • DC Public Library Commons
  • National Archives of Estonia
  • State Library of Queensland, Australia
  • Bergen Public Library
  • Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons
  • The Library of Congress
  • Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs
  • Musée McCord Museum
  • nha.library
  • California Historical Society Digital Collection
  • Mississippi Department of Archives and History
  • LSE Library
  • The Field Museum Library
  • Museum of Hartlepool
  • JWA Commons
  • Schlesinger Library, RIAS, Harvard University
  • Costică Acsinte Archive
  • Center for Jewish History, NYC
  • Keene and Cheshire County (NH) Historical Photos
  • The U.S. National Archives
  • SMU Central University Libraries
  • National Museum of Denmark
  • The National Archives UK

A Commons Sampler

Carter Buton Album Loan_00013
Carter Buton Album Loan_00013
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00011
Carter Buton Album Loan_00011
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Photograph of William Ralph Meredith
Photograph of William Ralph Meredith
from Law Society of Upper Canada Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00120
Carter Buton Album Loan_00120
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00138
Carter Buton Album Loan_00138
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00125
Carter Buton Album Loan_00125
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00119
Carter Buton Album Loan_00119
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00029
Carter Buton Album Loan_00029
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Carter Buton Album Loan_00141
Carter Buton Album Loan_00141
from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

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!!