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...

  • Riksarkivet (National Archives of Norway)
  • Ljósmyndasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavík Museum of
  • Costică Acsinte Archive
  • State Records NSW
  • Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs
  • SMU Central University Libraries
  • Nationaal Archief
  • Swedish National Heritage Board
  • National Archives of Estonia
  • JWA Commons
  • Bergen Public Library
  • The Finnish Museum of Photography
  • New York Public Library
  • Center for Jewish History, NYC
  • Museum of Photographic Arts Collections
  • Provincial Archives of Alberta
  • Stockholm Transport Museum Commons
  • State Library of New South Wales collection
  • LlGC ~ NLW
  • Library Company of Philadelphia
  • The Library of Virginia
  • Galt Museum & Archives on The Commons
  • OSU Special Collections & Archives : Commons
  • The Library of Congress
  • Powerhouse Museum Collection
  • State Library and Archives of Florida
  • Texas State Archives
  • National Galleries of Scotland Commons
  • George Eastman House
  • nha.library
  • Het Nieuwe Instituut - Architecture Collection
  • Deseronto Archives
  • LSE Library
  • National Library NZ on The Commons
  • Miami U. Libraries - Digital Collections

A Commons Sampler

Course of the river Mississipi [sic], from the Balise to Fort Chartres; taken on an expedition to the Illinois, in the latter end of the year 1765
Course of the river Mississipi [sic], from the Balise to Fort...
from Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Image taken from page 725 of 'Das Jahr 1848. Geschichte der Wiener Revolution. 1. Band von H. Reschauer (2. Band von M. Smets)'
Image taken from page 725 of 'Das Jahr 1848. Geschichte der Wiener...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 253 of 'Gleanings from popular authors, etc'
Image taken from page 253 of 'Gleanings from popular authors, etc'
from The British Library

Image taken from page 175 of 'Only an Actress. [A novel.]'
Image taken from page 175 of 'Only an Actress. [A novel.]'
from The British Library

Image taken from page 133 of 'Blind Love ... With a preface by Walter Besant [who completed the work] and illustrations by A. Forestier'
Image taken from page 133 of 'Blind Love ... With a preface by...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 229 of 'La Belgique illustrée, ses monuments, ses paysages, ses œuvres d'art. Publiée sous la direction de M. E. van Bemmel. 500 gravures ... par les premiers artistes, cartes, etc'
Image taken from page 229 of 'La Belgique illustrée, ses...
from The British Library

Image taken from page 254 of 'Coaching Days and Coaching Ways ... With illustrations by H. Railton and H. Thomson'
Image taken from page 254 of 'Coaching Days and Coaching Ways ......
from The British Library

Leaping Dolphin at Marineland
Leaping Dolphin at Marineland
from State Library and Archives of Florida

Image taken from page 287 of '[The Great Condé and the period of the Fronde. A historical sketch.]'
Image taken from page 287 of '[The Great Condé and the period of...
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!!