The Commons at Flickr

Flickr is an online photo-sharing archive owned by Yahoo. Anyone can create a free account and receive 1TB of space to upload photos (enough room to store 500,000 or so photographs). There are many other great features that make Flickr very useful, but one of the most amazing things about this platform is The Commons. A number of public archives from around the world have made some or all of their historical photographs available here. You’ll find collections from national archives, national museums, libraries, state and regional libraries – and even NASA.

The photos are amazing, but many of these institutions have taken advantage of Flickr’s social features to allow the public to add their comments about the photographs. As a result, the institutions have been able to learn even more about their collections. The public comments have identified people in the photographs as well as landmarks, places and sometimes even dates.

Llambias House via The Commons at Flickr

For Florida researchers, the state archives has an impressive collection displayed here. The Florida Memory collection is organized into sets based on a range of topics which includes historical maps and postcards.

The Commons can be a useful research tool, but beware … it’s not hard to get lost in all these amazing photographs.

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