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...

  • Galt Museum & Archives on The Commons
  • Museum of Photographic Arts Collections
  • VCU Libraries Commons
  • UVicLibraries
  • Armenian Studies Program, Fresno State
  • National Galleries of Scotland Commons
  • LSE Library
  • UA Archives | Upper Arlington History
  • National Library of Scotland
  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives
  • Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
  • Powerhouse Museum Collection
  • Bergen Public Library
  • Royal Danish Library
  • Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs
  • SMU Libraries Digital Collections
  • Faculty of Music, Trinity Laban
  • Local History & Archives, Hamilton Public Library
  • Royal Museums Greenwich
  • National Library of Sweden
  • UW Digital Collections
  • National Library of Medicine - History of Medicine
  • Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office Commons
  • Riksarkivet (National Archives of Norway)
  • Australian War Memorial collection
  • Internet Archive Book Images
  • DC Public Library Commons
  • The Graduate Institute, Geneva
  • The Library of Virginia
  • IWM Collections
  • TXSTATE Library Digital Collections
  • Costică Acsinte Archive
  • The Finnish Museum of Photography
  • East Riding Archives
  • Ljósmyndasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavík Museum of

A Commons Sampler

08 01 13_3778_edited-1
08 01 13_3778_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5467_edited-1
09 17 13_5467_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 01 13_3752_edited-1
08 01 13_3752_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5391_edited-1
09 17 13_5391_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 01 13_3717_edited-1
08 01 13_3717_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 01 13_3763_edited-1
08 01 13_3763_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

09 17 13_5434_edited-1
09 17 13_5434_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 08 13_4090_edited-1
08 08 13_4090_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public Library

08 08 13_4091_edited-1
08 08 13_4091_edited-1
from Kalamazoo Public 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!!