Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2019 in the United States

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Notice Wiki Loves Monuments 2019 has come to an end! The United States has over 5,000 entries from over 400 people - thank you to everyone who contributed!

Check out the winners here.

Wiki Loves Monuments 2019 - September 1st to 30th
Photograph U.S. historical sites for Wikipedia and win!
Join the Commons

Don't have a Wikimedia Commons account yet? Create one - takes just a few moments!

Find monuments

Find registered historical and cultural monuments in the United States. Check out our guide to find lists of monuments and historical sites near you!

Take photos

Take as many photos as you can; try different angles. Even if the photo doesn't win you a prize, it may help Wikipedia!

Describe them

Classify your photos. Record the site's name, the registry it's on, the monument number/ID (if applicable), description, and date of photo.

Upload to Commons

Upload your pics through September. Give each photo a title that identifies the subject, and mention the site's registration in the description.

Wiki Loves Monuments is an international photographic competition to promote historic sites around the world through Wikimedia projects (mainly Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons). Everybody can participate.

This year, the United States participates again, and you are encouraged to submit any photos of monuments in the U.S. between 1 and 30 September. By submitting your photos to the competition, you share your heritage with the rest of the world to enjoy through the internet. We will explain below how to participate, what you can win and what monument sites are eligible.

If you have traveled and taken photos of monuments in other countries, you can check if your travel destination is also participating in Wiki Loves Monuments this year.


Find a monument, take a photo and upload it to Wikimedia Commons:

U.S. Prizes

1st: $400
2nd: $250
3rd: $150

The top-ten photos will all receive a certificate and be submitted to the international competition.

Monetary prizes will be provided as a gift card of the winner's choice.

Why participate?

   Help Wikipedia document historical and heritage buildings.

   A nice challenge to improve your photography skills.

   Compete for prizes in both the national and international competitions.

Competition rules

There are a few rules for photos to participate in the United States contest.

  • Photos must be your own work.
  • Photos may have been taken at any time (including prior to this event), but must be uploaded during September 2019 to be included in the contest.
  • Photos must be uploaded through this link in order to be properly tagged for the contest (contributors who are familiar with the proper tagging procedures can manually tag their photos if they wish).
  • During the upload process, you give permission with a CC BY-SA license (or similar) to allow for re-use of the image.
  • The photo must feature a site that is identifiable and registered as a historical or cultural site by some authoritative organization (whether on the federal, state, or local levels). Examples would be the National Register of Historic Places or your local historical society. When you upload your work, be sure to provide the name of the historical site, any identifiers, and the list it is on.
  • Digital manipulations must not deceive the viewer. Correcting flaws, some color adjustments, and other minor edits are acceptable.

Next to that, there are a few practical rules:

  • You should have an activated e-mail address on Wikimedia Commons, so that you can be contacted if you win.
  • If the photo gets deleted for any reason, it is automatically disqualified from the competition.
  • You are responsible for following the law while taking and uploading the photo.

At the end of the month, the national jury will evaluate the photographs and select the best 10 pictures of the monuments in the United States. The top 3 will receive monetary prizes, while all 10 will receive certificates and be submitted to represent the U.S. in the international finale.

Copyright notes

In the United States, you may freely take photos of buildings, but not copyrighted artworks and sculptures. See our page on freedom of panorama for more information. Permanently installed artworks may be photographed if they were installed before 1923, or installed before 1978 without a copyright notice.

Check out Cornell's guide for more details and an easy-to-read table.

Applicable templates:

More about U.S. monuments

The National Register of Historic Places has over 80,000 historical sites listed on it! Many states also have their own historical societies, as do many cities and towns throughout the country.
For a monument to count for the contest, it must be recognized by an authoritative organization as a historical site. Explore your local community and see what's out there!

Contact us!

There are a few ways to get in touch:

This year's U.S. organizers include:



Through the month of October, the U.S. jury will go through and judge all photos to determine the top-10. The following criteria are used (in no particular order):

  • Composition
  • Technical quality (sharpness, use of light, perspective etc.);
  • Originality;
  • Usefulness of the image for Wikipedia.
    • Note: Photos of all historical sites are valued, but photos of more uncommon and less-photographed sites will do better in judging.

If there are any doubts about the implementation of the rules, the jury decides.


Our jury will process the images through three rounds during October. At the end of this process, the jury determines the top-10. Our jury will be composed of individuals across the U.S. with backgrounds in art, photography, history and historical preservation, and the Wikimedia Commons.

Photo in header by Nick Archibald, CC BY-SA 4.0.
Photo in Winners 2018 button by Marc Toso, CC BY-SA 4.0.