Image Resources

Top FourFree Resources

  1. Wikimedia Commons / Wikipedia Commons
  2. Flickr Creative Commons
    Search for a topic and then select the "Any License" drop down menu. Select "All creative commons"
    You can also use Compfight to do a Flickr Search. Just type in your search criteria and hit enter. Once the images have appeared, choose Creative Commons in the left hand menu to locate images that are free to use. Copy and Paste the HTML to give credit.
  3. Earth Science World Image Bank
    All images on this site are creative commons and free to use. 
  4. The MorgueFile
    The Morgue file is a collection of free and low-cost stock images.
  5. Any .gov site
    All  .gov sites are free to use. You can do a limited Google search within the .gov domain by typing the topic in the Google search box and then add "site:.gov" to the search box.

Other Open Source Resources

  1. Getty's open content program provides high resolution images for free.
  2. The Penn State Image Archive is a flickr group containing images of people, places, and things at Penn State and maintained by the Department of Public Information. 
  3. The Public Domain Project makes Images, Film Clips, & Audio Files Free to Use.
  4. FreeDigitalPhotos.net has free stock photos and illustrations.  All of the free images are of high quality, produced by a community of professional stock photographers and digital illustrators.
  5. Wellcome Images contains rich and unique collections, with themes ranging from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and biomedical science.
  6. The New York Public Library provides free and open online access to hundreds of thousands of digital images. Images in the collection are either in the public domain or are owned by the library and can be downloaded and used for noncommercial purposes.
  7. The Associated Press collection of local, state, national, and international photos. (If prompted for a user ID and password, use your Penn State Access Account information.) 
  8. The ARTstor Digital Library is a nonprofit resource that provides over 1.6 million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences with an accessible suite of software tools for teaching and research. 
  9. The Federal Resources for Educational Excellence is a teaching and learning resources from Federal agencies listed by subject including Arts & Music, Health and Phys. Ed., Language Arts, Math, Science, World Studies, and U.S. History. Includes images, animations, primary documents, and videos.
  10. Geek Philosopher is a collection of digital images are completely free to download for commercial and personal use.
  11. MIT OpenCourseWare is a collection of charts, diagrams, pictures and more from MIT courses available on Flickr.
  12. Wikiversity is an open educational resources, including math formulas, diagrams, charts, etc.
  13. Citizendium is a "wiki for providing free knowledge where authors use their real, verified names."  Additional Wiki media.
  14. Maps

  15. Science Topics

    • Tasa Clips are images for the geosciences. Illustrations, such as a "Hawaiian hotspot," "Ocean trenches," or "Classification of igneous rocks". 
    • The NOAA Photo Library includes weather and space images, images of shores and coastal seas, and marine specific images.
    • The Science Creative Quarterly is a collection of scientific, textbook-like diagrams from microbiology biology.
    • The National Library of Medicine contains nearly 60,000 images including portraits, pictures of institutions, caricatures, genre scenes, and graphic art in a variety of media, illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine.
    • The Smithsonian Science Service contains Images representing 20th century scientific research in period periodicals.
    • "NREL's Image Gallery, provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is a collection of photographs, scientific images, and videos related to renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development."
    • "The Africa Focus collection contains more than 3000 slides, 500 photographs, 50 hours of sounds from forty-five different countries, as well as a large number of difficult to find texts that librarians, scholars, and other subject specialists have deemed important to these fields of study. It is hoped that the search features of the collection will be a convenient aid to scholarship, study, and teaching of these disciplines."
    • The Bugwood Image Database is a resource covering invasive species, forestry and agriculture integrated pest management, plants, insects, diseases, fungi, wildlife, fire and other natural resource issues developed by the University of Georgia's Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
  16. History

    • U.S. History Images is a collection of almost 5,000 images concerning the American Civil War.
    • Free Historical Stock Photos is a collection of small low resolution historical images. If you find an image you would like to use you can purchase a larger copy at Imageenvision.
    • Reusable Art is a collection of images rescued from old books, magazines, and Old Print Materials.
    • Emergence of Advertising in America is another collection from Duke University Libraries.  It contains over 3,300 advertising items and publications dating from 1850 to 1920, illustrating the rise of consumer culture and the birth of a professionalized advertising industry in the United States.
    • Ad*Access is a collection of over 7,000 U.S. and Canadian advertisements covering five product categories - Beauty and Hygiene, Radio, Television, Transportation, and World War II propaganda - dated between 1911 and 1955.  This collection is part of the Duke University Libraries.
    • The Smithsonian Science Service contains Images representing 20th century scientific research in period periodicals.
  17. Art

    • The Art Renewal Center is a collection of more than 2,600 realist painters, many in the public domain.  Check the catalog for dates of works and artists.
    • WebMuseum, Paris is a large collection of famous Artwork.
  18. Animals

    • Animal Photos! is a catalog of animals photos all with Creative Commons Licensing.
  19. Photos

    • Stock.XCHNG is a huge gallery containing over 350,000 free quality stock photos. 
    • everystockphoto is a search engine for free photos.
    • Pixabay is a collection of public domain decorative images and clip art.
    • Pexels is a collection of public domain images.
    • FreeFoto.com is a comprehensive, yet easy to navigate site, offering images that are free for on-line use, with higher quality versions available for sale.
    • The Educational Technology Clearinghouse is a massive collection of clip art, stock photos, maps, etc. for educational uses.
    • PDPphoto.org is a database of thousands of great, royalty free, public domain and stock photos.
    • Unslplash is a collection of completely free photography. 
  20. Clip Art

    • WPClipart is an ever-growing collection of artwork for school kids and others that is free of copyright concerns as well as safe from inappropriate images.
    • Open Clip Art has nearly 50,000 clipart images available for free use.
    • Public Domain Clip Art is a HUGE collection of public domain clip art. The collection is FREE and NO REGISTRATION is required.
    • Pixabay is a collection of public domain decorative images and clip art.
    • The Educational Technology Clearinghouse is a massive collection of clip art, stock photos, maps, etc. for educational uses.

Fee Based Resources

  • The Noun Project contains hundreds of simple black and white icons. There is a fee for the icons.
  • FotoSearch is an image search engine that allows one to "search over 700,000 images from over 50 stock photography, illustration, and video footage publishers." The collections are royalty free, but not free of charge. 
  • National Geographic Creative is a fee-based collection of images and video clips from the National Geographic. 
  • istockphoto is a collection of royalty-free images, illustrations, videos, and music clips.
  • Imageenvision is a collection of historical images ranging from architectural marvels to American Presidents to Circus advertisements.

Reverse Image Search

Sometimes you have an image you would like to use  but you do not have the copyright information or the resolution is too small. In this case, you can do a reverse image search to find the exact or similar image. Two of the best options for doing this are:

  • TinEye is a website where you can search for  where the image appears on the web.  This is a great tool for checking copyright and looking for a higher resolution image.
  • Google Reverse Image Search is similar to Tineye in that you can use a picture to find related images anywhere on the web.

How to Cite Open Source Images

All images should have proper citations even if they are  licensed under creative commons. There are a few tools that make this process easy and painless.

  1. OpenAttribute is a browser plugin for Opera, Firefox, and Chrome that copies proper citation information for CC-licensed materials to make it easier to insert them in your courses. Please note that OpenAttribute does not work for Flickr images.
  2. Use Flickr cc attribution helper when using Flickr images.