Top of page

Come to Our Party: The 7th Birthday of the Flickr Commons

Share this post:

The following is a guest post by Helena Zinkham, Chief, Prints & Photographs Division.

You’re invited to play a virtual game that offers a fun way to explore the remarkable Flickr Commons.  A new year of this special collaboration among close to 100 archives, libraries, and museums begins on January 16th. So brace yourself for variety as you explore the 4 million photographs and book illustrations with no known copyright restrictions now offered through the Flickr Commons.

First Lady [Eleanor Roosevelt] cuts President's birthday cake, Washington, D.C.  Glass negative by Harris & Ewing, January 29, 1938.
First Lady [Eleanor Roosevelt] cuts President’s birthday cake, Washington, D.C. Glass negative by Harris & Ewing, January 29, 1938.
Your choice of games:

If you don’t have a Flickr account, you won’t be able to leave tags or comments within Flickr but please enjoy browsing the diversity of collections in the Commons, and leave comments on this blog post about what you find. Or take a look at the images from the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog and let us know in the comments which collections with no known copyright restrictions you’d like to see uploaded to Flickr this year (you can even include “no known restrictions” in your search!).

If you do have a Flickr account:

  • Pin a Tag on the Best Photos – Search for a favorite subject at Select your favorites and add this tag: CommonsBest
    Example: I tried “hats”:
  • Lucky 7 —  Look up a number and favorite the photos that immediately catch your attention. I enjoy this game because the random results reveal pictures I’d never have thought to ask for.
    Example: Searching “seven” offers a nice variety:
  •  Hometown – Now and Then – Search within the Library of Congress photostream for your hometown or a place you’ve visited. Then post one of your own photos in a comment in Flickr to show how the place looks today.
  •  Make a Gallery –You can select up to 50 images for a Flickr gallery.  Can you put together a gallery on a subject for which 50 different Commons accounts have posted related images?

It’s been a great seven years. We’ve uploaded over 22,700 images organized into 34 albums and enhanced almost  7,000 records in the Library’s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog based on information provided by Flickr community members. Here’s a snapshot of our account stats according to Flickr as of December 31, 2014:

  • 178,000,000+ total views
  • 333,000+ favorites
  • 60,755+ followers
  • 59,700+ comments

We appreciate all the comments and tags that the Flickr community has contributed to make nearly 7,000 photos in our collections so much easier to find and understand.

Learn More:

Comments (3)

  1. Happy Birthday and Congratulations!

    Hard to believe it’s been seven years, really interesting to see the statistics. Hurrah to P&P and Flickr Commons!

  2. Terrific gamification elements! Always been a huge fan and student of this Flickr Commons initiative! Awesome model for glams and other digital collections.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.