Flickr – The Commons

One of the most interesting features in Flickr is The Commons. It is a collection of photographic archives from participating institutions, it commenced in early 2008 with a pilot project in partnership with the Library of Congress, after the success of this, additional institutions joined the project. It currently has over sixty institutions participating.

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!)

One feature which distinguishes The Commons is its use of no known copyright restrictions, this rights statement is required for organisations to participate in the program. In brief it is an assertion by the participating institutions that they may rightly claim “no known copyright restrictions” on the content that they share.

Institutions from all over the world are part of this, with images dating from the very dawn of photography, depicting everyone from the famous, to the anonymous dead, ships sunk or long since sent to the scrapyards, places that no longer exist save in these images. It’s the closest most of us will ever get to time travel!

However, more importantly, we can find pictures of cats!

A cold kitty on the steam yacht "Morning".

A cold kitty on the steam yacht “Morning”.

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