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...

  • Mennonite Church USA Archives
  • The National Archives UK
  • SALT Research
  • Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland
  • sinaloaarchivohistorico
  • nha.library
  • Halifax Municipal Archives
  • UVicLibraries
  • Library Company of Philadelphia
  • National Library of Sweden
  • Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs
  • DC Public Library Commons
  • Center for Jewish History, NYC
  • Cornell University Library
  • JWA Commons
  • The Field Museum Library
  • National Library of Ireland on The Commons
  • VCU Libraries Commons
  • CDHS
  • Université de Caen Normandie
  • Dundas Museum and Archives
  • Local History & Archives, Hamilton Public Library
  • Schlesinger Library, RIAS, Harvard University
  • UL Digital Library
  • Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane
  • Archives of the Law Society of Ontario
  • Vestfoldmuseene | Vestfold Museums
  • State Library of Queensland, Australia
  • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
  • bibliothequedetoulouse
  • East Riding Archives
  • State Library of New South Wales collection
  • Regionaal Archief Alkmaar Commons
  • Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest
  • The Finnish Museum of Photography

A Commons Sampler

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

Trevor Hill, Newry
Trevor Hill, Newry
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Positively the last motoring photo for a while...
Positively the last motoring photo for a while...
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Catch of the Day
Catch of the Day
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Beware the Headless Engine Driver of Old Carnlough
Beware the Headless Engine Driver of Old Carnlough
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Peggy Bacon in mid-air backflip, Bondi Beach, Sydney, 6/2/1937 / by Ted Hood
Peggy Bacon in mid-air backflip, Bondi Beach, Sydney, 6/2/1937 / by...
from State Library of New South Wales collection

Alexandra Graving Dock, Belfast (1)
Alexandra Graving Dock, Belfast (1)
from National Library of Ireland on The Commons

First cars and trains across Sydney Harbour Bridge, March 1932 / Sam Hood
First cars and trains across Sydney Harbour Bridge, March 1932 /...
from State Library of New South Wales collection

Chavelier O'Loughlin wedding, large family group.
Chavelier O'Loughlin wedding, large family group.
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!!