access the worlds public photo collection

Over at the excellent Flickr photo sharing service they now have a new category of pictures called The Commons. It’s not the Creative Commons searchable pictures database I talked about before. This is a collection of copyright free images which are also publicly available from libraries or other archiving organisations around the globe.

It makes me think of what they are doing over at archive.org, which also contains a vast collection of public domain material ranging from texts to sound and video. Flickr is taking a step into the same direction by letting Institutions archive their photographic collections online, and allow people like you and me to interact and help describe the collection by adding comments and tags to the photo’s.

For now only a handfull of institutions are actively submitting content, but I’m sure more will follow worldwide. Something to look forward to if you’re interested in history and photography, and a nice resource for copyright free pictures to use in your research, blogs or whatever.

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