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Visual Resources: Copyright Free Images

Mobile Databases


The Public Art Archive is a growing database and mobile website of completed public artworks from around the world. The Public Art Archive project is a series of focused efforts to increase the visibility of public artworks in communities through education and engagement initiatives. Go to the blog to learn about these projects.



The Archive houses tens of thousands of public artwork records in a single, centrally located database, making these works easily accessible to all audiences, including researchers, authors, academics, policy-makers, tourists, artists, administrators, and the general public. It includes comprehensive data and rich media, to allow collection stewards to share their artworks with new, broader audiences; to help explorers find information about public art in their world; and to aid in the sharing of best practices in public art for researchers and stakeholders.

Creative Commons

What is the Creative Commons? It's a project that aims to allow people to freely access and reuse creative works, including images and videos. Creative Commons produces a set of copyright licenses which let you know how you can use a work within guidelines set by its creator. You can read more about Creative Commons on their site.

When reusing anyone's work, whether you found it through one of the links below, Google, or ARTstor, be sure to give proper credit to the creator.



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    Wikimedia Commons




flickr logo

Flickr Creative Commons

  • Behold
: Visual search of Flickr photographs. Uses computer vision to recognize visual content, rather than relying on text tags. Limit to "free to use" or "free to modify."
  • Compfight: 

Enhanced search of Flickr content. Limit to Creative Commons.
  • FlickrStorm
Search overlay to Flickr. Retrieves more images by using related tags. Select "Advanced" to limit to Creative Commons content.
  • Wylio: Searches only Creative Commons content in Flickr. Additional tools for blogs and websites, including resizing tool, photo credit builder, and code generator.



Creative Commons The organization behind the Creative Commons licenses also provides their own list of search engines which support finding media under the CC licenses.



Open Access Images

Open Access Images

Images from sources on this page are available for use on the open web. You are free to use these images in multimedia projects, websites, blogs, portfolios, etc, that are open and available to the public. When you use these images, you do not need to restrict access to your class or academic environment.


Open Access Images from Museum Collections

    Getty Open Content Program  

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art

   National Gallery of Art

   Walters Museum of Art

   The Metropolitan Museum of Art

   British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts

​   Rijksmuseum

   National Gallery of Denmark



Open Access Images from Library Collections

  Library of Congress Digital Collections

  Digital Public Library of America

  HathiTrust Digital Library

   National Library of the Netherlands

   Yale University

   The Wellcome Library

   San Jose State University World Images  




Google Image Searches


Cosmic Jellyfish Google Doodle by MrVoynich

By using "Advanced Image Search" you can limit your Google Image search results by license. This way Google will only retreive images that are availabe for you to either post, alter or use commercially. 


You filter your Google Image search 1 of 2 ways:


1. When you perform a search in Google Image, use the tool bar to select "Search Tools" ; then select "Usage Rights"  





2. If you start from the "Advanced Image Search" page, under the "Narrow your results by..." section choose the drop down bar for "Usage Rights"


Usage Rights will allow you to select: 

  • free to use or share
  • free to use or share--even commercially
  • free to use, share or modify
  • free to use, share or modify--even commercially