An unidentified girl is seen in a goat cartAn unidentified girl is seen in a goat cart
Meet our new cohort!

Reopening the doors to Flickr Commons

One of our goals when we started revitalizing Flickr Commons was to bring in new members. We’re so excited for you to meet them. We’re starting small but mighty.

Bringing in new people gives us a chance to spiff up our existing procedures and documentation, test out our onboarding documents, and make new friends. It also places even more precious memories and cultural heritage into a space that has long term plans, with no known copyright restrictions.

Best of all, all of these folks are existing Flickr users so we can share some of what’s special about them with you before our official “relaunch.”

Without further ado, here is our new cohort. Welcome!

Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County



These community archives, located in Belleville Ontario are comprised of “textual records, photographs, maps, newspapers, and other materials that provide information about the people, places and development of Belleville and Hastings County, Ontario.”


This covers the community of about 55,000 people, possibly nicknamed Bellevegas if Wikipedia is to be believed, on the Eastern end of Lake Ontario.


They’ve been posting content to their blog since 2015 including a story of archival survival, a low-tech crowdsourced assessment rolls project, and a tale of reassembling a scrapbook’s pages based on archival material held in three separate archives.

290. B. Party by Otonabee River, Peterborough, 1911

State Archives of North Carolina


The North Carolina State Archives are located in Raleigh, North Carolina. They use their Flickr account to highlight some of the unique and interesting items in their collection. They also interact with the Flickr Community to try to get better information for their unidentified and poorly identified photographs.


Viewing their pictures gives you a great look at both the rural and urban parts of the state. One of my favorite albums is the Carolina Power and Light Photograph Collection, holding images from the photographic library of Carolina Power and Light. The pictures cover 1900 through 1975 give glimpses into random slices of North Carolina.


I have a personal soft spot for the Sidney E. Rochelle Photograph Collection a much smaller collection showing motorcycles in and around Durham in the early 1900s. This is where I found the single photograph of Della Crewe on her Harley Davidson motorcycle, with a sign saying “Around the World on a Harley-Davidson.” Intriguing! That image, thanks to its open license, now illustrates her Wikipedia page.


The Archives have had a blog since 2007, starting from when the State Library and Archives Building was undergoing renovations. They now have several more. There are a lot of fun stories in there though I am always partial to the odd ones.


Port Morien Digital Archive


Port Morien, formerly called Cow Bay, is an historic village located on the rugged east coast of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. It is now primarily a fishing village, but it is steeped in coal mining history. It is the location of the first commercial coal mine in North America in 1720, as well as the site of the first Boy Scout troop in North America in 1908.

Flint Lighhouse Frank's time

Local history has been well preserved in the community over the years. Historic plaques have been installed, seniors have been interviewed, and there have been a number of audio visual presentations about the community. In addition, numerous books have been written about various aspects of Port Morien history.

Donkin Morien High School BandFair 1992

Keeping with the rich tradition in preserving heritage, a small group of community volunteers have collected approximately 2900 photos of our community of Port Morien. It started as a project that was developed in conjunction with the community homecoming in 2015 called Morien Memories. Photos and short videos include people and places from the past as well as the present. Our mission is to provide a digital visual record of our community for future generations to enjoy.

McIntosh_ Mabel_Caress_Sonny_Dolly_Dawn_StuartHigden_Paulette_Georgie

Sorting, arranging, and displaying images from the Commons and elsewhere on Flickr

Flickr Commons: Grand Galleries, Admired Albums

Two photographs of women, side by side in a photo album. There is a ghostly face behind the women in each image

[Album with Spirit Photographs] (Preus Museum)

Flickr Commons is a great place to go to illustrate your thoughts. I’ve used it for talking about Daylight Savings, bird watching, and reminding people to take some time off for the weekend.

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

Admirable Albums

Here’s an example photo, a favorite from the Library of Congress.

A Library salute to National Photography Month and the photographer’s skill for staging eye-catching compositions  (LOC)


Going to that photo’s web page shows where else it appears.


screenshot from showing six of the 37 galleries this photo has been added to. It is also in one album called

It’s in one album from the LOC called Not An Ostrich and thirty-seven different galleries including “People with books,” “badass women,” and “Taking on the World” all of which are fun to explore.

Unlike physical photo albums, digital images can be in more than one album at once so this astronaut photo from NASA is in an album called Astronauts and also one called The Gemini Program.

Apollo 11 LM Interior

Some other fun albums from Commons Members include:

Dog following a caravan

Jumping for joy, in Bulimba, Queensland, 1918

Learn more about creating or managing Albums on Flickr.

Grand Galleries

A Gallery is a way for Flickr users to curate images in other members’ collections.

Color photograph of a girl dressed like flower or butterfly


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.”


Carla Wallenda rides a bicycle on a high wire

Searching the Commons for “fun” reveals this photo of Carla Wallenda from Florida Memory which is in thirty-nine Galleries including

Eénwielige motorfiets / One wheel motor cycle

Other Flickr users make their own Galleries specifically with Flickr Commons content.

Helen Richey 084

Flickr user wakethesun has created a massive set of Galleries many of which are entirely Flickr Commons content.

screenshot from wakethesun's gallery page showing for Commons galleries each of which focus on a different type of animal: primates, elephants, camels and "wild ungulates"


Poke around and you’re sure to find something you enjoy!

Learn more about creating, adding or sharing Galleries on Flickr.