Copyright Friendly Image Sources

Copyright-Friendly Images (Mostly!) for Use in Multimedia Projects and Web Pages

In the spirit of the open source movement, new copyright-friendly (and some copyleft) archives are emerging, removing many of the legal and ethical thorns relating to image use in student production. In addition, a number of government image archives provide their archives with limited restrictions.


Check out this cool video for an explanation of new, alternate forms of licensing:

Creative Commons Video


Most of the images in the collections below include images with a variety of less restrictive licensing. Though students may not need to ask permission to use them when publishing on the Web for educational purposes, they should cite these images unless otherwise notified! Important: Any copyright notices on these pages, should be read carefully and heeded!

US Government Graphics and Photos

Wikipedia Free Images


Common Content

Creative Commons

Open Photo Project


Wise Gorilla Educational Clip Art

PD Photo

America From the Great Depression to World War II: FSA/OWI 1935-1945

American Memory Collection: Library of Congress--click on "Photos and Prints" and check the "Copyright and Restrictions" section for each collection

American Memory Maps Collection

Art Images for College Teaching

Centre for Bioscience ImageBank

Daguerreotype Portraits and Views 1839-1864

Department of Agriculture Image Gallery

Department of the Interior Photo Resources Library

Flickr Creative Commons

Free Photo 1

Google Life Photo Archive (great collection but copyright and ownership belongs to TIme)


Great Images in NASA (GRIN)

Images of American Political History

Internet Moving Images Archive (read Conditions of Use)

Metropolitan Museum of Art

(Please read copyright info on

NARA's (National Archives and Records Administration) NAIL Search

NASA Image Exchange

NASA Multimedia Gallery

NASA Photo Archive

NASA's Planetary Photojournal

National Health Museum (AccessExcellence)

National Library of Medicine: Images from the History of Medicine

Picture Collection Online (New York Public Library)

NOAA Photo Library (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Open Clip Art Library

Public Health Image Gallery

Pics4Learning (A great collection of donated photos!)

Picturing the Century: 100 Years of Photography

Science Images

Science Images (Earth Zone)

Selected Civil War Photographs

Training Reference: Images for Learning Materials

US Air Force Link: Photos and Art

US Fish and Wildlife Services Images

US Geological Service Photographic Library

US Navy Images

USDA Historical Photos