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Using Images Ethically
When using images created by others, it is imperative to use the images ethically and with attribution. It is your responsibility to check the licensing agreement on each image you use, and to cite or attribute each image to its creator. Refer to the Citing tab of this guide for instructions on how to cite properly.
Public Domain Images on the Web
This online gallery features works on exhibit from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that have moved into the public domain. There are a few restricted images, so be sure to double check the license.
Meta-List of Public Domain Image Sources
Lists hundreds of general and topic-specific resources that users can browse when looking for public domain images. Be sure to double check the license status of each image before using.
Public Domain Sherpa
List of agencies and collections holding public domain images. Good resource for other copyright information as well.
U.S. Government Photos and Images
Lists government agencies by topic that hold public domain images; each agency or institution will hold hundreds, if not thousands, of images. Of particular interest may be the Smithsonian collection and the American Memory (Library of Congress) collection. Be sure to check licensing on each image.
Restricted-License Image Sources on the Web
Creative Commons Search
Searches images licensed through Creative Commons across platforms, including Flickr, Google Images, and Wikimedia Commons, among others.
Digital Image Collections Guide (American Library Association)
This amazing bibliography of image resources, curated by subject librarians, features “quality digital image collections spanning more than 85 subjects, including over 950 digital collections”. The guide is browsable by subjects such as art, architecture, design, area studies, and horticulture, and also features many science, medical, and social science collections.
Flickr Blue Mountain CC
Searches images licensed through Creative Commons available on Flickr; relies on user tags to identify images.
Public Domain Sherpa: Tips for Finding Restricted Images by License-Type
Includes specific instructions to apply license language to regular web searches; learn how to search Google Images, Flickr, and more by type of license.
Have an image but need info?
Try an open-source reverse image search using TinEye or Google's Reverse Image Search. Both places let you upload an image, refer to a URL, or download a Firefox or Chrome extension that allows users to right-click on an image.