Flickr Commons: Grand Galleries, Admired Albums
The rich collection of millions of images–all of them free to use, re-use, and repurpose thanks to the No Known Copyright Restrictions designation–are a source of endless fascination.
The Commons have a sense of curation, attention to organization, the caring attention of many disparate and diverse conservators, but you can also get the buzz of a personal serendipitous discovery. The feeling, as Jessie Ransom explains,
…you can walk in looking for one thing and leave with so much more than you knew you wanted or needed.
Look at one Flickr Commons item and you can see its connections to other items, within the Commons and beyond. The two main organizing methods are Albums and Galleries.
- Albums and Collections (sets of albums) – a member curating and organizing their own photos
- Galleries – a member curating photos from others’ collections
Here’s an example photo, a favorite from the Library of Congress.
Going to that photo’s web page shows where else it appears.
Some other fun albums from Commons Members include:
- “In memory of the Amundsen-Ellsworth polar flight 1925” from the Preus Museum – an album of an album
- Vesna’s 10 favourite photos – the State Library of Queensland showcases a set curated by one of their followers
- Fairground scenes – glass slides of fairground scenes from the Discovery Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne
- DOCUMERICA – Charles O’Rear – Amtrak – Amtrak’s intercity rail service and life in rural Nebraska from the US National Archives
A Gallery is a way for Flickr users to curate images in other members’ collections.
This image of a girl dressed like a butterfly from The Field Museum Library is in their Album, called Flower Children, but also six Galleries including Girl Child, storytellers, and one only called “4.”
Searching the Commons for “fun” reveals this photo of Carla Wallenda from Florida Memory which is in thirty-nine Galleries including
- Vintage Circus Performers (Public Domain) – fourteen photos of old-time carnival actors
- Ko-Lor – bright and shiny
- Silly & Fun – people and their antics
Other Flickr users make their own Galleries specifically with Flickr Commons content.
Poke around and you’re sure to find something you enjoy!