Flickr, an online photo sharing website, hosts tons of photos that can be uploaded by anyone with an account. Once on the site, the public is free to browse and leave comments on the photos. Members might be users sharing photos with family or artists showcasing their work. And now, the Library of Congress has gone digital and uploaded 3,000 images on Flickr as part of a new pilot project called The Commons. Which makes the public photo collection of the Library of Congress that much more accessible.
Flickr has long since been connected to the Creative Commons, an organization that has developed a spectrum of visual tags that allows the public to recognize the copyright status of a piece of artwork. The artist of a work can claim their work copyrighted, all rights reserved, or open to distribution and re-working, or somewhere between the two extremes.
According to the Creative Commons website, openphoto and Flickr both use the Creative Commons licensing system. The great part about all the photos in The Commons is they have been tagged “no known copyright restrictions.” As I browsed the photos, I discovered a ton of great photos of the United States during the 1910s and 1930s- 1940s that you probably can’t find anywhere else. This is one of my favorites: