How To Find Public Domain Images

Before you use any images on your website, it's critical that you make sure that you have a license to use them. 

UCSC provides a photo repository of images that you have permission to use. 

If you need to find additional images for your site, below is a list of tips and resources for you:

How to find free-to-use images on Google

! Important Note - many of the images on Google are mostly aggregated from Wikimedia Commons and are by no means representative of the universe of free images available.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators.

! Important Note - if you search Creative Commons via Flickr, the SEARCH engine automatically resets when you search again - so with every new search, you have to make sure the "Creative Commons" boxes are ticked.

Wikimedia Commons

a database of 24,321,353 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute


Free (do whatever you want) hi-resolution photos. 10 new photos every 10 days.

! Important Note: A lot of media folks know about this site, so you'll often see these images frequently used.

Free Pik

You have to register and download (for free) their software.

Public Domain Project


The Met

About the project (via This is Colossal): On 16 May 2014, Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced that more than 400,000 images of public domain works in the Museum's world-renowned collection may be downloaded directly from the Museum's website for non-commercial use including in scholarly publications in any media; without permission from the Museum and without a fee. The number of available images will increase as new digital files are added on a regular basis.

The British Library

From the BPL: "We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th-century books digitized by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colorful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more than even we are not aware of."

The Getty

Internet Book Archive

Other lists:

Other resources:

Open Culture

From their website: Open Culture brings together high-quality cultural & educational media for the worldwide lifelong learning community. Web 2.0 has given us great amounts of intelligent audio and video. It's all free. It's all enriching. But it's also scattered across the web, and not easy to find. Our whole mission is to centralize this content, curate it, and give you access to this high-quality content whenever and wherever you want it. Some of our major resource collections include:

Free culture

Larry Lessig's site. Lessig is an academic champion and leader in the free culture movement.