Social Media Accounts at the National Archives

National Archives Photos on Flickr: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

About the Project

About the National Archives Photographs and Documents on Flickr

Please direct additional questions to the National Archives Social Media Team at

About the Project

Why is the National Archives placing photographs on Flickr?

The National Archives has joined Flickr to share images of National Archives archival photographs and documents in a new way with National Archives researchers, potential researchers, and the public. We are excited to participate in Flickr's active online community.

How do I find the National Archives on Flickr?

Visit our photostream on Flickr located at

What is your comment and tagging policy?

Read the National Archives' Comment and Posting Policy.

How can I participate?

We invite you to contribute your own tags, comments, notes, and other identifying information to our photographs on Flickr. Our photosteam is online at The National Archives may or may not add any of this identifying information to our online catalog, because resources are limited.

About the National Archives Photographs and Documents on Flickr

Are these photos only on Flickr?

No, the photographs the National Archives is posting on Flickr in the Historical Photographs Collection and the DOCUMERICA Collection are also available in the National Archives' National Archives Catalog.

Will this replace putting photographs in the National Archives Catalog or other National Archives Web sites?

No. As outlined in the National Archives' Digitization Strategy, the National Archives will continue to use the National Archives Catalog, the National Archives Catalog, as the National Archives' central online location for digital copies of archival photographs and documents.

Does the National Archives plan to add more photographs to its Flickr account?

As resources allow, we hope to add more photographs to our Flickr account on a regular basis, so please check back often at

Do I have to create an account on Flickr to view the National Archives photos on Flickr?

An account is not required to view our photos on Flickr. If you would like to leave tags or comments on the photos, you will need to create a Flickr account. If you already have a Yahoo! user name and password, you can use these to access the site as well. More information about Flickr is available on Flickr's About Flickr page and their Flickr FAQ page.

What does "no known copyright restrictions" mean?

All of the U.S. National Archives' images that are part of The Flickr Commons are marked "no known copyright restrictions." This means the U.S. National Archives is unaware of any copyright restrictions on the publication, distribution, or re-use of those particular photos. Their use restriction status in our online catalog is "unrestricted." Therefore, no written permission is required to use them. Read more information about the Publication of Photographs Furnished by Still Pictures.

If you do reproduce one of our images, we would appreciate your crediting the National Archives and Records Administration as the original source. For information about how to cite archival materials from the National Archives' holdings, please refer to Citing Records in the National Archives of the United States.

What is the resolution of the National Archives photos on Flickr?

Most images are available on Flickr as 72 dpi (dots per inch) JPEG files or TIFF files. Selected images will be posted as 300 dpi JPEGs or TIFFs.

How do I access the high resolution image when available?

To download the high-res image from Flickr, visit one of the photos on our photostream: When viewing the photo you'd like to download, click on the "Action" dropdown menu above the top left corner of the photo.

Click Action screenshot

In that menu, select "View All Sizes."

View All Sizes screenshot

The original size of the photo will appear with options to make it smaller, larger, or into a thumbnail. Click on the link that says "Download the large size of this photo."

Download large size of photo screenshot

Choose to either save the file or open it in a program.

What are machine tags?

Each photo uploaded to the US National Archives Flickr account is added with a machine tag. Machine tags provide information about images in a specific way, which allows programmers (and computers) to communicate with Flickr and access the information using APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). With an API, programmers can use this data to create mashups (i.e. combinations of different types of data and/or of data from different sources). For example, programmers can combine the data about our images on Flickr with our ARC datasets on to visualize our holdings in new and exciting ways.

Our machine tags follow the formula nara:arcid=[actual ARC id number]. The first part means it's from us (NARA), the second part means that we are providing the ARC ID number, and the third part is the unique ARC ID number itself.

Machine tags are located on the right side of the photo in their own tags category:

Machine tags screenshot



Please direct additional questions to the National Archives Social Media Team at