News

Wikimedia Commons Reaches 15 Million Files

Elliot Harmon, December 12th, 2012

17W Aug 14 1996 0124Z

17W Aug 14 1996 0124Z
United States National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration / Public Domain

Just in time for CC10, Wikimedia Commons just announced its fifteen millionth upload. That’s fifteen million files that anyone can reuse, remix, and share for commercial or noncommercial purposes, many of them licensed CC BY or CC BY-SA.

The fifteen millionth file, pictured to the right, is a public domain photograph of Tropical Depression Seventeen-W, produced by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In a way, the photo is the perfect distillation of why an archive like Wikimedia Commons is important. The photo was already in the public domain, but it’s more useful when catalogued in a well-maintained repository.

As Peter Weiss explained the significance of the announcement, much of the growth of the Wikimedia Commons collection can be attributed to adoption by galleries, libraries, museums, and archives (GLAMs). When cultural institutions share their collections in a form that others can access and reuse, everyone’s better off for it.

These two videos from WikiAfrica explain why a cultural institution might want to share artifacts in Wikimedia Commons, and how to do it.

Congratulations to Wikimedia Commons on this amazing milestone, and thanks for being a part of the CC family.

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