New York Public Library joins Flickr Commons

The New York Public Library has joined the Flickr Commons, uploading an initial contribution of 1300 images from its photographic collections. Next, the NYPL is promising even more material!

We think of this as a sort of appetizer course, a sampler of collections accessible in greater breadth and depth on the NYPL Digital Gallery, and on-site in our network of libraries. Lush images of modern dance pioneers; haunting early cyanotypes of algae (the first photographic works to be produced by a woman); majestic geographical surveys taken along the Union Pacific Railroad, iconic Depression-era images taken under the Farm Security Administration's famed photography program; Berenice Abbott's epic documentation of 1930s New York for the Federal Art Project; stunning 19th century vistas of the Egypt and Syria; scenes and portraits of Ellis Island Immigrants, the Statue of Liberty under construction... These and more are now available to view, tag and discuss in the Flickr Commons, and are offered as an invitation to explore further on our own site or in our actual libraries. After this initial road test, we expect to post many more images into the Commons pool.
NYPL joins Flickr Commons (Thanks, David!)


  1. Does anybody know if you can tag your own photos w/ “No Known Copyright Restrictions” on Flickr? I looked at Flickr a couple of years ago, became disgusted that there was no way to tag my photos public domain, and haven’t looked since. I see that these “Commons” photos are tagged “No Known Copyright Restrictions”, and I think that’d be a pretty spiffy tag to use on photos I’d like to upload there.

  2. No, you can’t tag your own content “No Known Copyright Restrictions” because you are only allowed to assign a license to your own works, and there are known copyright restrictions on your photos.

    I’m just scared of what is going to happen to flickr if M$ buys Yahoo.

  3. Awesome. Go NYPL! I hope more libraries do this.

    How about putting you work out under the Creative Commons License? Will Flickr support that?

  4. @JJasper: Yes.

    From Flickr: You can associate a Creative Commons license with your content if you wish, to grant people the right to use your work under certain circumstances. For more information on what your options are, please visit the Creative Commons website.

  5. Just today, I had reposted a public domain photo from the Library of Congress on Flickr, and wanted to mark it as Public Domain. I couldn’t; best I could do was CC-Attribution, which isn’t really what I want. I want a public domain option, dammit.

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