Image Resources on the Web

Finding Images on the Web for use by Educators

Although search engines such as and others enable you to quickly locate photos, clip art, and other visual media, most that is found is not in the public domain and so can only be used under very restricted ways without permission of their owners. This basically rules out their use in websites or in other media for public presentation. There are exceptions, and Fair Use statutes define the latitude that we enjoy in an educational setting. Of course, there is never any problem with either faculty or students using their own original images. Other images in the public domain (as from sources listed below) may be used, or more recently those projects that permission is defined as they are released to the public. An example of this is a new kind of copyright designation called “Creative Commons.”

Copying Images

Right mouse click on the image in your browser you wish to save, and “Save Target to Desktop.” This may be called something else in your browser. On a Mac, press the control button, click on the mouse, and select “Download Image to Disk.”

Citing Examples

MLA Example

van Gogh, Vincent. The Starry Night. 1889. Museum of Mod. Art,
New York. 3 Feb. 2003

APA Example

Hogarth, William. The Graham Children. 1742. The National Gallery, London. 26. Aug. 2004

Example sites:

TCC’s Multimedia Link Site

Creative Commons
Full copyright applies to most stuff on the web. But the Creative Commons search engine finds photos, music, text, and other works whose authors want you to re-use it for some uses — without having to pay or ask permission. is the largest collections of free photographs for private non-commercial use on the Internet. The photographs are free to private non-commercial users and for sale to other users. contains over 40,000 images with new pictures being added every week.

GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program)
This site offers 32,000 free public domain images and encourages visitors to help index the images with suggestions for keywords. I can imagine a similar solution for our own regional historical image archive whereby site visitors could submit online not only keywords but further personal information that they know of related to a picture. Type your subject in “Key Search”.

Wikipedia: Online Encyclopedia
Wikipedia is a good source of images donated to the cause of building a free encyclopedia. Also includes links to other public domain image resources. There is also a huge list there of public domain resources.

Historical Image Resources
The Selected Civil War Photographs Collection contains 1,118 photographs. Most of the images were made under the supervision of Mathew B. Brady, and include scenes of military personnel, preparations for battle, and battle after-effects. The collection also includes portraits of both Confederate and Union officers, and a selection of enlisted men.

NYPL’s Picture Collection
The New York Public Library has launched the Picture Collection Online, an image resource site for those who seek knowledge and inspiration from visual materials. It is a collection of 30,000 digitized images from books, magazines and newspapers as well as original photographs, prints and postcards, mostly created before 1923.

National Geographic
Famed magazine has online archives of images. Everything here is covered under “fair use” rules for education.

Images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in US.

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