Millions of Public Domain and Creative Commons Images

Today I am giving a workshop on the millions of images available to teachers and students that circumvent the confusing issues related to copyright and “Fair Use”.  The following sites supply my blogs and presentations.  I have added some comments.  Please submit suggestions and comments of your own!

 Saturn photographed by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft (Government Work)


morgueFile contains free high resolution digital stock photography for either corporate or public use.

Our search: “eyes”

Strengths: high resolution, no restrictions on use.

Weaknesses: slim selection, decorative rather than instructive

Flickr CC photo by Xavier Donat


Wikimedia Commons  is a media file repository of public domain and freely-licensed educational media content

Our searches  “cat”, “Robert Kennedy Assassination”

(note sound clips)

Strengths: enormous catalog, tremendous for history.

Weaknesses: searches produce shotgun results, favors lapsed copyright images.


Compfight provides searches through Flickr’s millions of Creative Commons photos

Our Searches: “Destruction”, “Wrecking Ball”

Strengths: Tremendous variety; Amazing high resolution selection

Weaknesses: Metadata entered by photographer, making searches tricky; Creative Commons licensing generous, but requires checking.

From morgueFile


Library of Congress Photostream on Flickr

Our Search: “War of the Nations 1919”

Visit Library of Congress

Our search: “Civil War”

Flickrcommons Inspired by Library of Congress contributions, it contains tons of pictures from contributing museums and other institutions.

Our Search “Theodore Roosevelt”

Strengths:  Fabulous archives, Public Domain

Weaknesses: Except for “collections”, may require painstaking search.

Public Domain Photo, Library of Congress


United States Government

Search #1

History, Arts, Culture

National Gallery

“Winslow Homer”

Search #2

Science & Technology



Search #3

Defense & International Relations


Flickr Sets

Strengths: “Government Work” photos are free of copyright; Tremendous source material for Art, Science, Social Studies, English

Weaknesses: Quality, Quantity vary considerably among agencies; Tough to search.

Edgar Degas, “The Dance Lesson” from the National Gallery

Workahop conducted by Larry Baker, Associate Principal and Apple Distinguished Educator

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