Public Domain

American Memory, Library of Congress: ” The Restriction Statement that accompanies each American Memory collection provides known information regarding ownership of materials in the collection. If known, we include contacts for permission. In some cases the Restriction Statement will indicate that material in a particular collection may be used freely; in other cases the Restriction Statement may only be a starting point for your inquiry.”

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library Digital Images Online: ” The Library may be able to assist in identifying the copyright holders. It is not necessary to seek the Library’s permission to publish texts or images (unless the University is identified as the copyright holder.) The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library should, however, be cited as the source.”

Best Copyright-Free Photo Libraries, by Coby Logen. DotGovWatch. Photos taken by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duty. Not a U.S. Government website.

Getty Search Gateway Open Content Images , filter by Types, Topics, Names, Places, Sources

National Atlas of the United States

New York Public Library Digital Gallery: “Images may be freely downloaded for personal, research, and study purposes only.”

OpenGLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums)

Perry-Castañeda Library, University of Texas at Austin, Portrait Gallery (Historical Figures): ” The images in this collection are in the public domain. You do not need to ask for permission to use these images.”

Prints and Photographs Reading Room, Library of Congress: “Copyright restrictions.”

Scanned Images, Engravings and Pictures from Old Books: “They are mostly public domain (copyright-free, out of copyright) here in Canada, and often in other countries too, unless otherwise noted…”

Visual resources online; digital images of primary materials on public Web sites,” Annie Blecksmith, College & Research Libraries News, vol. 69 no. 5, May 2008.

Web Gallery of Art: “… intended to be a free resource of art history primarily for students and teachers.”

Wikimedia Commons…”a database of 19,980,534 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.”

Wikipedia: Public Domain Image Resources.

World War II Posters, Northwestern University: ” Materials published by the U.S. Government Printing Office are in the public domain and, as such, not subject to copyright restriction. However, the Library requests users to cite the URL and Northwestern University Library if they wish to reproduce images from its poster database.”

WorldImages, California State University. Includes over 72,000 images that are available free of charge for educational use.”The internationally recognized WorldImages database provides access to the California State University IMAGE Project. It has just been selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in its historic collection of Internet materials. It contains approximately 80,000 images, is global in coverage and includes all areas of visual imagery. WorldImages is accessible anywhere and its images may be freely used for non-profit educational purposes. The images can be located using many search techniques, and for convenience they are organized into over 800 portfolios which are then organized into subject groupings.” Portfolio List.


Ruth Thomas
Mugar Memorial Library