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Brainy Betty's Big List of Public Domain Resources!


Works are in the public domain if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all, if the intellectual property rights have expired, and/or if the intellectual property rights are forfeited. Examples include the English language, the formulae of Newtonian physics, as well as the works of Shakespeare and the patents over powered flight. (Wikipedia)


American Memory, Library of Congress: " The Restriction Statement that accompanies each American Memory collection provides known information regarding ownership of materials in the collection. If known, we include contacts for permission. In some cases the Restriction Statement will indicate that material in a particular collection may be used freely; in other cases the Restriction Statement may only be a starting point for your inquiry."

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library Digital Images Online: " The Library may be able to assist in identifying the copyright holders. It is not necessary to seek the Library's permission to publish texts or images (unless the University is identified as the copyright holder.) The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library should, however, be cited as the source."

Best Copyright-Free Photo Libraries, by Coby Logen. DotGovWatch. Photos taken by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duty.  Not a U.S. Government website.

Images of American Political History: " Posting online by Dr. William J. Ball. All images are believed to be in the public domain. Please do not contact me for permission to use them."

Images You Can Use, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa*

"Locating public domain images," by Lorrie A. Knight, College & Research Libraries News, January 1998, 11-13.  Some of the links are now defunct. Try Googling site titles.

National Atlas of the United States

New York Public Library Digital Gallery: "Images may be freely downloaded for personal, research, and study purposes only."

Perry-Castaņeda Library, University of Texas at Austin, Portrait Gallery (Historical Figures): " The images in this collection are in the public domain. You do not need to ask for permission to use these images."

Prints and Photographs Reading Room, Library of Congress: "Copyright restrictions."

Scanned Images, Engravings and Pictures from Old Books: "They are mostly public domain (copyright-free, out of copyright) here in Canada, and often in other countries too, unless otherwise noted..."

"Visual resources online; digital images of primary materials on public Web sites," Annie Blecksmith, College & Research Libraries News, vol. 69 no. 5, May 2008.

Web Gallery of Art: "... intended to be a free resource of art history primarily for students and teachers."

Wikimedia Commons..."A database of 6,898,821 media files to which anyone can contribute."

Wikipedia: Public Domain Image Resources.

World War II Posters, Northwestern University: " Materials published by the U.S. Government Printing Office are in the public domain and, as such, not subject to copyright restriction. However, the Library requests users to cite the URL and Northwestern University Library if they wish to reproduce images from its poster database."

WorldImages, California State University.  Includes over 72,000 images that are available free of charge for educational use. "The internationally recognized WorldImages database provides access to the California State University IMAGE Project. It has just been selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in its historic collection of Internet materials. It contains approximately 80,000 images, is global in coverage and includes all areas of visual imagery. WorldImages is accessible anywhere and its images may be freely used for non-profit educational purposes. The images can be located using many search techniques, and for convenience they are organized into over 800 portfolios which are then organized into subject groupings."  Portfolio List.


Large Image Resources and Indexes

Copryight-Free Photo Archives - 27,000 images from NASA, NOAA, and FWS

DHD Multimedia Gallery (Selection of images, sounds, etc.)

Free Foto

Free Images - 2500 stock photos (most free, some members only)

Free Stock Photos

Imagesafter (Hi-res images, photos, & textures)

MorgueFile (Some are free for students to use in projects, but not copyright-free)

Pics4Learning - great for general topics

Smithsonian Institution's Office of Imaging and Photographic Services

Photo Resources

ARS (Agricultural Research Service) Image Gallery

Art Images for College Teaching (AICT) by A. T. Kohl

Coin Page

Free Public Domain Images - small collection

Great Images in NASA

JSC Digital Image Collection (NASA) - seach or browse 9000 NASA images

NASA Multimedia Gallery (Images, video, and interactive features)

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Photo Gallery

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Photo Library - search 20,000 NOAA images

Planetary Photojournal from NASA

Public Health Image Library (PHIL) from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

US Fish and Wildlife Service: Pictures/Graphics

Clip Art Resources

Awesome Clipart for Kids, Teacher & Family

Clip Art Connection

Clip Art Gallery from DiscoverySchool

Graphic Maps

Page Resource (backgrounds, dividers, images, and links)

Images on Specific Topics

Abraham Lincoln - 5 pictures

Images from the History of Medicine (IHM) from National Library of Medicine

Images of American Political History

Map Collections: 1500-2003 from American Memory, Library of Congress

Moving Image Archive from Internet Archive

Text Resources

Project Gutenberg (electronic texts)

Stories and Characters That Have Had Their Copyright Expire


Links to Search for PD Music and Lyrics

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