Friday, October 26, 2012

16 Resources for Free Images for Educators

Abraham Lincoln with Allan Pinkerton and Major...
Abraham Lincoln with Allan Pinkerton and Major General John Alexander McClernand at the Battle of Antietam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The search for quality images continues...

We have faculty who are creating course materials and in some cases, replacing Fair Use images with public domain, fair use, or Creative Commons licensed images. There are still some holes in our image searches. The links here are my most recent suggestions but I know that some of these are older than others and besides Wikipedia and advanced Google Searches (which are good), there are other sources. This is really just a representative list to get us started.

These are in alphabetical order - not in order of quality or breadth.

  1. Archive.Org. - This is the grand daddy of all public domain archives for images, text, audio, and film. It takes a bit to get used to using the site but once you get the hang of it, it is well worth it. Lots of treasures here.
  2. American Memory - These are history images from the Library of Congress.
  3. Bowdoin Botany Database - These images copyrighted but are free for educators: "Educators and students may use these images as part of their teaching, research, and/or studies, but may not sell or otherwise make a profit on their use."
  4. Burning Well - This is one of numerous archives of public domain images.
  5. Cadyu provides public domain and Creative Commons licensed 3-d images of objects. This would be appropriate for a design class, autocad, etc.
  6. Clipart Etc. - From the University of Florida. A maximum of fifty (50) clipart items may be used in any non-commercial, educational project (report, presentation, display, website, etc.) without special permission.
  7. Creative Commons Search - This combines multiple search engines and gives you the results in one spot based on license chosen.
  8. Environmental Education Station.- These are public domain photos that were funded by an environmental studies grant. These photos are royalty free and may be used without charge for any educational purpose with attribution to David Anderson.
  9. Images in the Public Domain - Many of these are from old encyclopedias. Still useful.
  10. Library of Congress - Most of the images in these holdings are in public domain unless specifically cataloged otherwise.
  11. Public Domain Images - This site collects high quality public domain images.
  12. Public Domain Image links- This is from the University of Wisconsin. Great metasite with links to many public domain resources.
  13. Smithsonian - They encourage educational fair use of all of their images as long as you cite the source. Many of their images are in public domain unless they specify copyright information.
  14. Web Gallery of Art- is intended to be a free resource of art history primarily for students and teachers. It is a private initiative not related to any museums or art institutions, and not supported financially by any state or corporate sponsors.
  15. Wikimedia sometimes works...I found that the best way to search wikimedia is to go to Google and type: "search term" where “search term” equals a single word like “photosynthesis.” Notice that there is only a single space AFTER “org.” Do not put a space after the colon.
  16. U.S. Government Public Domain- The US govt. has made it easier to find images that they have produced that are in the public domain. They are freely available and need no permission.

What are we missing? Is there a source that you use? Which of these are best in your experience? We would really appreciate your comments, experiences or suggestions below!

These are just in from Bosha Struve:

Digital Media
Other Resource Guides

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  1. Flickr's advanced search tool is also useful, and can be configured to find Creative Commons images that allow modification and commercial use, and well as plain reuse.

  2. Thanks so much for this great list. My students also enjoy using Morguefile
    and Foter

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