Big wins for Wikimedia Commons in Germany

Big wins for Wikimedia Commons in Germany

Germany has been a very friendly place indeed for Wikimedia Commons over the last several months, and all of us netizens reap the benefits. I’ve reaped a benefit right here, simply by putting in a rather random lead photo for this blog post. The photo is not mine, but I’m using it. Why? Because I can! Let me explain…

First there was the announcement in December of 2008 that the German Federal Archives, the Bundesarchiv, had donated 100,000 images to the Commons. Then, in late March of 2009, the Wikipedia Commons announced that they would be receiving 250,000 images under the Creative Commons license from the Deutsche Fotothek collection of the Land Library of Saxony – State and University Library Dresden (SLUB). Those images are still being uploaded to the Commons.

Because the latter collection is from Dresden, it contains a great many photos from the GDR (East Germany).  Here’s this one (cropped here in the blog post), for example, showing a “disco club” for the workers of a steel plant.  A large chunk of this SLUB archive consists of photos depicting industrial work in the GDR.


Disco club for steel plant workers. Click for original, including licensing and attribution info.

From what I’ve seen so far, I find the Bundesarchiv collection more interesting — at least the sample gallery page makes it seem so.  This picture of a Berlin street in February 1945 shows the aftermath of an Allied bombing.


Ruins on Mohrenstrasse, Berlin, 2/1945. Click for original, including licensing and attribution info.

Have a look through both collections. I’ve categorized this post under "Resources", because the images in these collections, being licensed under variants of the Creative Commons licensing family, are generally available for your use with only minor restrictions.

(Lead photo: “Ordensverleihung, Barzel, Weizsäcker“. Source: German Federal Archive. License: Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Germany.)