Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2020 in the United States

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Notice Wiki Loves Monuments 2020 has come to an end. The United States had over 6,000 entries from over 1,000 people!

The United States winners are listed here. Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to everyone who contributed!

Baha'i Temple at Dusk.jpg
October 1st to 31st
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Photograph U.S. historical sites for Wikipedia and win!
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Join the Commons

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Find historical sites

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

Take photos

Take photos to document the site, or search through photos you've previously taken.

Describe them

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

Upload to Commons

Upload your pics through October under a free license. 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 document and promote historic sites around the world through Wikimedia projects (mainly Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons). Everybody can participate.

A 'monument' refers to a protected historic site that is recognized by a governmental body or other organization, such as a historical society. In the United States, this primarily consists of places listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. We also accept photos of historic sites that are recognized by tribal, state, and local governments, as well as historical societies and related organizations.

This year the United States is participating through the month of October. By sharing your photos under a free license, you help document our history and share it with the rest of the world to enjoy through the internet, and get a shot at winning a prize! We will explain below how to participate, what you can win and what monument sites are eligible.

If going out to photograph, be sure to take necessary health precautions and follow the guidance of national, tribal, state, and local officials, starting with the CDC COVID-19 protection guide.


Find a registered historic site and upload a photo you have taken of it to the Wikimedia Commons:

U.S. Prizes

1st: $500
2nd: $350
3rd: $200
4th - 10th: $50 each

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?

WLM-icon-edit-neg.svg   Help Wikipedia document historically significant buildings and historical sites.

WLM-icon-camera-neg.svg   A nice challenge to improve your photography skills.

WLM-icon-prize-neg.svg   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 October 2020 to be included in the contest.
  • During the upload process, you must release your photo under a free license that allows for re-use of the image (CC BY-SA license or similar)
  • 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).
  • 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, tribal, 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.

In addition, if you plan to go out to photograph sites, be sure to take necessary health precautions and follow the guidance of national, tribal, state, and local officials, starting with the CDC COVID-19 protection guide.

At the end of the month, the national jury will evaluate the photographs and select the best 10 pictures of the historic places in the United States. The top 10 will receive monetary prizes, 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 1925, 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 details...

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 historic place 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 November. 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 MichaelDPhotos, CC BY-SA 4.0.
Photo in Winners 2019 button by Colby Conrad Stearns, CC BY-SA 4.0.