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...

  • Cornell University Library
  • Australian War Memorial collection
  • JWA Commons
  • National Archives of Estonia
  • Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland
  • The Library of Virginia
  • National Media Museum
  • UL Digital Library
  • George Eastman House
  • Schlesinger Library, RIAS, Harvard University
  • Library Company of Philadelphia
  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives
  • SMU Central University Libraries
  • Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
  • LSE Library
  • Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane
  • Center for Jewish History, NYC
  • Costică Acsinte Archive
  • Galt Museum & Archives on The Commons
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • The U.S. National Archives
  • Getty Research Institute
  • National Museum of Denmark
  • Keene and Cheshire County (NH) Historical Photos
  • The Royal Library, Denmark
  • National Library of Australia Commons
  • Het Nieuwe Instituut - Architecture Collection
  • Mennonite Church USA Archives
  • Law Society of Upper Canada Archives
  • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
  • Musée McCord Museum
  • Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest
  • Museum of Photographic Arts Collections
  • New York Public Library
  • National Library of Scotland

A Commons Sampler

Image taken from page 638 of '[The Beauties of England and Wales; or, Delineations, topographical, historical, and descriptive, of each country. Embellished with engravings. (vol. 1-6 by E. W. Brayley and J. Britton; vol. 7 by E. W. Brayley; vol. 8 by E.
Image taken from page 638 of '[The Beauties of England and Wales;...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 115 of 'Over een Charter van Graaf Floris v. van den 14deⁿ Mei 1273 mededeeling van G. H. M. Delpret nader toegelicht, en over Charters van Graaf Floris v. van den jare 1281'
Image taken from page 115 of 'Over een Charter van Graaf Floris v....
from The British Library

Map of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, constructed from the latest authorities
Map of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, constructed from the...
from Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Image taken from page 835 of 'Magyarország története, etc'
Image taken from page 835 of 'Magyarország története, etc'
from The British Library

ca_20140419_018
ca_20140419_018
from Costică Acsinte Archive

Image taken from page 221 of 'Letters from Rome to Friends in England'
Image taken from page 221 of 'Letters from Rome to Friends in England'
from The British Library

Image taken from page 40 of 'The News' History of Passaic. From the earliest settlement to the present day. Embracing a descriptive history of its ... institutions with biographical sketches. Profusely illustrated. Compiled and edited by W. J. Pape with t
Image taken from page 40 of 'The News' History of Passaic. From the...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 25 of 'Az 1848-49-iki magyar szabadságharcz története. [With illustrations.]'
Image taken from page 25 of 'Az 1848-49-iki magyar szabadságharcz...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 170 of 'Inghilterra, Scozia e Irlanda. Opera illustrata con 494 incisioni, etc'
Image taken from page 170 of 'Inghilterra, Scozia e Irlanda. Opera...
from The British 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!!