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Last Updated: Aug 1, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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About Creative Commons

Creative Commons licenses allow creators to take selective advantage of copyright ("some rights reserved") in order to share their works without releasing them entirely into the public domain. Pay attention to the terms of whatever license a creator has chosen; if the license requires attribution, you must credit the creator.


TOOL: Is it protected by copyright?


Images sources - CC licenses


Images sources - CITE these sources carefully

Badgerlink/ECB Videolink/Science Images & Animations 
This catalog of 2750 digital images and 575 animations in topics in biology, chemistry, earth and space science, physical science and environmental science is designed for use in technology-rich classrooms. Use them on interactive whiteboards, or download and embed them into electronic teaching resources, student projects, digital portfolios or other multimedia products. Illustrations are in .jpg format. Animations are provided in .wmv (PC) and .m4v (Mac) formats. Note: This database is part of Badgerlink, a project of the Department of Public Instruction and free to all Wisconsin residents.  You can access Badgerlink via our IMC Website or use the URL above.

 DK Clip Art 
Explore thousands of images from leading illustrated publisher Dorling Kindersley. Perfect for illustrating homework, school projects and generally being creative, you can browse the clip art by A-Z or by school subjects.  DK holds the copyright but allows users to download, copy and display the Images for your own personal, home and school use.

 Free Digital is one of the best places on the web to download free photos for use in corporate and personal projects. The images can be used by web designers, graphic designers and editors to illustrate and brighten up websites and printed media such as newspapers and magazines.  Please see the terms of use for more information on acceptable use of these images.

Library of Congress: Prints and Photographs Online Catalog 
The Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) contains catalog records and digital images representing a rich cross-section of still pictures held by the Prints & Photographs Division and, in some cases, other units of the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress offers broad public access to these materials as a contribution to education and scholarship.

 NASA Images 
The most comprehensive compilation of NASA stills, film and video.  Students may use the images for school projects as long as they credit NASA

 New York Public Library Digital Collections 
The Digital Gallery provides free and open access to over 700,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more.

Some of the images in the Digital Gallery may be subject to third party rights such as copyright and/or rights of privacy/publicity. Before using any of these images please review the Library's Terms and Conditions.

Smithsonian Images 
An amazing collection of photos on history and science.  Students and teachers are may use these photos for personal and educational purposes.  You must credit the Smithsonian and the photographer.  See copyright section on the website for more detail on how these images may be used. 

Google Images 
Use the advanced search option in Google Images to narrow searches.  Limit searches to include only images where permission has been granted to use the image.  Click on “Usage Rights” and choose “Labeled for Reuse” from the dropdown menu.  This strategy limits the amount of images returned but at least you know you can use them.  Remember the images don’t belong to Google.  The search engine “mines” them from other websites.  Listed just below the image is the site name.  Go to the original website and cite the photo properly from there.  Be sure you have permission to use the image.


Image Resources

Image Resources

Image Citation Requirments:

Images must be cited like all other resources. If you use an image you did not create, you must provide a citation. Images should be cited in all cases, even if the image is very small, or in the public domain. The citation should be accessible in the context of the image's use (within a Powerpoint presentation, on a web page, in a paper, etc.).

Image citations should include the following information at a minimum:

  • Title
  • Creator name
  • Repository information (museum, library, or other owning institution)
  • Image source (database, website, book, postcard, vendor, etc.)
  • Date accessed

It is also useful to include date, culture, and rights information, if known.

Use EasyBib (All 59 options then Digial Image) to help you cite your images.

Creative Commons Image Search - Search images with licensing for reuse.  Be sure to check each image to see the licensing requirements.

Wikimedia Commons - Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to everyone.

Photos for Class - Quickly and easily search Flickr for Creative Common images - then download a properly cited image. You must download the image to get the citation information.

Pics4Learning is a safe, free image library for education. Pics4Learning is designed to make it easy for teachers and students to find and use copyright-friendly photos and images for classroom displays, multimedia projects, web sites, videos, portfolios, and more.


Public Domain Images:

  • Photos Public Domain Thousands of high quality public domain photographs free for any use, with no restrictions. Collections included are: textures, animals, nature, and a variety of stock images for any use, including commercial.
  • - A growing collection of free images related to United States history. 
  • 4 Free Photos Public domain images.
  • Picdrome - growing Public Domain picture collection: no copyright, licensed under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication. All items are free to download and use, without restriction.
  • - Totally free public-domain images - This is the largest archive on the Internet with over 494,000 hi-res professional-grade royalty-free images, 100% public-domain and acceptable for use with Wikipedia.
  • Open Clip Art - This project is an archive of public domain clip art.
  • The site presents a large Collection of Public Domain images only. It's very easy to navigate which benefits not so experienced users or young folks.
  • Reusable Art - An ever-growing collection of vintage drawings, illustrations and photographs from books, magazines and other printed materials. Original publication information is included with each image for copyright verification. All images meet or exceed the Berne Convention standard for a creative work to be in the public domain.

For an EXPANSIVE list see Public Domain Image Resources .


About the Public Domain

Any work that is not eligible for copyright or for which the copyright has expired or been given up is part of the public domain.  Anyone has the legal right to copy, modify, and distribute it. Images in the public domain can be freely used


Image sources - Public Domain

EduPic Graphical Resource 
Educpic Graphical Resource is a teacher designed free image resource for educators and their students.  All images contained within are free for use by education professionals and the students they serve without permission.

Imagebase Free Photos 
A searchable database of free stock images with full permission to use the photos without attribution.  Most images are high resolution.

 Microsoft Office Online 
Download royalty-free clip art, photos, illustrations, animations, sounds, borders, icons, backgrounds, and more for Microsoft Office products. 
Pics4Learning is a copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students.  The Pics4Learning collection consists of thousands of images that have been donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers.  Unlike many Internet sites, permission has been granted for teachers and students to use all the images donated to the Pics4Learning collection.


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