State Library of New South Wales is actively engaged in contributing to Wikipedia, our goal is to make it easier for people to find information about the people, places and events that are significant in our history and communities. One aspect of sharing our collections with the wider community is contributing images to the Wikimedia Commons. Known as the Commons, it is an online repository of more than 18 million images, sound recordings, and other media files that are freely available for reuse and can be used across all Wikimedia projects in all languages, including Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikispecies, Wikisource, and Wikinews, or downloaded for offsite use.
Images that are contributed must be in the public domain or shared with a Creative Commons licence that will allow reuse. The Library has contributed images of items that are out of copyright and photographs of objects from our collections. Some notable examples include this landscape view of Tenterfield painted by convict artist Joseph Backler in 1861.
A picture of one of the holey dollars in the Library’s collection, these were in circulation in the early days of the colony of NSW.
It's interesting to note that one of our images, a picture of James Dunlop who was a Scottish astronomer based in the Parramatta area in the 1820s-1830s has appeared in many different language editions of Wikipedia.
There are two categories for images from the Library’s collections:
- Images contributed by members of the public, that acknowledge they were sourced from the Library.
- Images contributed by Library staff as part of our Wikipedia editing project
We are not the first Library to contribute images to Wikimedia Commons, here is a list featuring the contributions of many galleries, libraries, archives and museums for you to enjoy exploring.