Skip to Main Content

The News: Evaluating and Using News Sources: Image Databases

What is the news? Are all news sources equal? How can you determine whether a news sources is credible, biased? Is your news sources Fact reporting, analytical or propaganda?

National Archives 

Digital photographs collections from the 19th through the 21st century compiled for the United States National Archives.

The MET Museum's Online Collection

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, provides more than 450,000 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. They are still adding to this collection.

Announcement of project

Los Angeles County Museum of Arts Collection

Check Public Domain checkbox for copyright free images.

The British Library

Over a million images have been shared to Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix or repurpose.

The images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books.  The images have been released into the Public Domain by the British Museum. 

A huge variety of subjects are included. There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colorful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of."


  Bing Images - Search for an images and the results will allow you to filter by: Image size, Color, Type, Layout, People, Date, and/or License

  • License Filters for Images - All, Creative Common, Public Domain, Free to Share and Use, Free to Share and Use Commercially, Free to Modify, Share and Use, Free to Modify, Share, and Use Commercially.

Google Images no longer uses adequate filters for licensing.  The only filters Google Images allows are Creative Commons or everything else. Please start to use Bing for your image selection. 

Getting Copyright Permissions

For TV, Film, Music or Books

How to find and use free images in Google

Find free-to-use images

From Google Search, you can filter your results to find images, videos, or text that you have permission to use. From Advanced Search you can select the filter called "usage rights".  This will tell you when you can use, share, or modify something you find online.

Find images, text, and videos you can reuse

  1. Go to Advanced Image Search for images or Advanced Search for anything else.
  2. In the "all these words" box, type what you want to search.
  3. In the "Usage rights" section, use the drop-down to choose what kind of license you want the content to have.
  4. Select Advanced Search.

Warning NoteBefore reusing content, you still need to make sure that its license is legitimate and check the exact terms of reuse.

For example: The license might require that you give credit to the image creator when you use the image. (Google can't tell if the license label is legitimate, so we don't know if the content is lawfully licensed.)

Types of usage rights

  • Free to use or share: Allows you to copy or redistribute its content if the content remains unchanged.
  • Free to use share or modifyAllows you to copy, modify, or redistribute in ways specified in the license.
  • Commercially:  You should not need to use content for commercial use as a student, but it you did, be sure to select an option that includes the word "commercially."

How usage rights work

Usage rights help you find content that you can use above and beyond fair use. Site owners can use licenses to let you know if and how content on their sites can be reused.

The usage rights filter in Advanced Search shows you content either labeled with a Creative Commons or similar license, or is in the public domain. For images, the usage rights filter also shows you images labeled with the GNU Free Documentation license.

Report incorrect usage rights

If you find content with the wrong usage rights in the search results, let Google know in the Google Search Forum.

Open Culture

    What is Open Culture’s Mission?

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:

1,300 Free Online Courses from Top Universities

1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.

900 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free

800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices

MOOCs from Great Universities (Many With Certificates)

Learn 46 Languages Online for Free: Spanish, Chinese, English & More

200 Free Kids Educational Resources: Video Lessons, Apps, Books, Websites & More

Creative Commons

We’re a global community of creators

From lawyers and academics to musicians and artists, we’re lighting up a global commons of openness and collaboration, sharing content and community around the world.

5 Good Places for Students to Find Public Domain Images


The Public Domain Project

Thousands of historic media files for your projects.  Completely Free and made available by Pond5.

You may need to create an account to use.