Can I use that image? Finding images for online, educational use


As more and more faculty assign multimedia projects, the inevitable question arises, can I use this image on my site? Or, in a different scenario, why can’t I use this image on my blog?  Without wanting to get into the details of what images you can and cannot use, we want to share some easy ways to find images that are labeled as “reuse” and so, with the correct attribution, can be reused online by you or your students.

  • Wikimedia Commons: A database of over 8 million freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.
  • Flickr Commons: Thousands of images from cultural institutions, including George Eastman House. All images can be used for academic purposes; they are included because they have “no known copyright restrictions.”
  • Google Images: Use this link, then limit your search under “Usage Rights” to “free to use or share.”
  • Creative Commons Search: Find content with Creative Commons licenses. Search includes Google, YouTube, Flickr, SoundCloud, and more.
  • Getty Research Institute Search Gateway: Search across several of the Getty repositories and limit your search to view only those images that can be used for free for any purpose.
  • Yale British Art Museum: Thousands of images of works in the Center’s collection believed to be in the public domain are available for free through the Center’s online collection catalogue.
  • Morguefile: Public image archive for creatives by creatives.
  • The Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Over 20,000 high quality downloadable images of artworks from its collection which are believed to be in the public domain.
  • National Gallery of Art Images: The NGA’s repository of digital images includes over 29,000 open access digital images up to 3000 pixels each and are available free of charge for download and use.
  • The British Library: Over one million images available for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books and include a mix of subjects.

More information and resources for finding images, in addition to other media (sound, video) may be found in our Finding Multimedia guide.


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