Image Resources

Top Free Resources

  1. Adobe Stock
    Adobe Stock has a collection of 75,000+ images that are free for everyone. Additionally, Penn State has a license with Adobe to use their for-fee stock images, vectors, audio and video. As a result, Adobe Stock will have almost anything you need. Begin your search here, and direct faculty to look here to begin. Contact the multimedia specialist to obtain images.
  2. Creative Commons Search
    Find various types of CC-licensed items from sources such as Google Images, Fotopedia, Jamendo, Flickr, Nappy, and more.
  3. Wikimedia Commons
    A searchable collection of over 105 million freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.
  4. Flickr Creative Commons
    Search for a topic and then select the "Any License" drop-down menu. Select "All creative commons"
    See the bottom of this page for instructions on how to use the Flickr cc attribution helper to cite Flickr images.
  5. Pexels
    There are thousands of free stock photos for you to browse. They are all free to use without attribution.
  6. Pixabay
    Free photo site - license details.
  7. Unsplash
    Free photo site - license details.
  8. Earth Science World Image Bank
    All images on this site are creative commons and free to use. 
  9. Smithsonian Open Access
    access to millions of digital artifacts (2D & 3D images, animations, data, audio files, and more) available under a CC0 license.
  10. The MorgueFile
    The Morgue file is a collection of free and low-cost stock images.
  11. StockSnap
    Free photo site, CC0 license for everything - license details.
  12. .gov sites
    Government produced content is generally free of copyright, but some important exceptions exist. Please review the terms at this page: https://www.usa.gov/government-works for specifics.
    To search .gov sites at google add "site:.gov" to your search criteria.

Free Resources with an Inclusivity Focus

  1. Disability:IN
    "Disability:IN is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide." One of their services is providing disability related resources, including imagery. This is not a typical stock site, and you havae tou look through the resources section, or use the search to find materials. Generally a small offering.
  2. Disabled and Here
    "This is a disability-led effort to provide free & inclusive stock images from our own perspective, with photos and illustrations celebrating disabled Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC)."
  3. Nappy.co
    "Beautiful photos of Black and Brown people, for free. For commercial and personal use."
  4. SocietyPix photo database
    Note: This site is in german. A translation via Google Translate reads: "Gesellschaftsbilder.de is a photo database for editors, media makers and bloggers and anyone interested who is looking for images that are far removed from clichés for their work. The photo database should be an offer to depict the diversity of society.
    On this page you can search for images for editorial work and use them free of charge. For other purposes, the images can be licensed on request or we can put you in touch with the photographers or organizations."
    Because this site is German, be very careful selecting material from here.
  5. TONL
    "TONL seeks to transform the idea of stock photography by displaying images of diverse people and their stories around the world."
  6. #WOCinTech chat
    "Women of color and non-binary in technology." Note: This is a reference site; these photos are available (according to this site as of 08/23/2023) via Pexels, Unsplash, Flickr.
  7. AI Image Generators
    Use these to come up with ideas or images from textual descriptions. Great for brainstorming (and then passing on ideas to our multimedia gurus) and filling in gaps in existing stock photos (which takes some practice). 
  • Bing Image Creator: an easy place to start to get comfortable with these tools. Free with Microsoft. Good for practice but maybe not polished enough for professional use. 
  • DALL-E2: easy to access, and a free option.
  • Stable Diffusion: a free option.  

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

    • MAPS ETC is a collection of over 5,000 different maps spanning many time periods.
    • The National Map is an interactive atlas that contains public domain maps from the National Map(USGS).
    • pat Country Maps is a collection of county maps all in the public domain.
    • The Illinois State Geological Survey provides a large collection of Illinois maps and images of geology and hazards.
    • The Rumsey collection an online database offering access to 67,000 maps from all over the globe, spanning five centuries of cartography. The collection includes rare 16th through 21st century maps of America, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Pacific and the World.
    • Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas
  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.
    • NASA Media Archive has images, audio, and video recordings related to space flight, astronomy, and aeronautics created by NASA.
    • 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 animal 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 online 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.
    • Unsplash 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.
  • Vecteezy is a searchable collection of millions of high quality, royalty free photos and pictures. (Set the License Type to Free License to limit the search to free images.)

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 or plugin 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.
    When you do a search, check the box next to "stock" if visible and sort by oldest and/or largest.
  • 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. Consult our own Image Citations document for more. 

  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 -- here are instructions for how to use the Flickr cc attribution helper

QR Code Generator

  1. Free QR Code Generator at Adobe Express
    Simple and free QR Code generator, you will need to log into an Adobe account (use your PSU credentials).