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Public Domain & Creative Commons Images: Home

Looking for images to use in your classes or Brightspace? There are millions of images in the public domain that have no known copyright restrictions, or that have a Creative Commons license, and can be used for free without permission.


What images can I use freely without permission for teaching & learning?

Start with the assumption that all online content is protected by copyright. This includes images that are found through a Google search.
– Lesley Ellen Harris

Public Domain Images: Just because an image is available on the internet, does not necessarily mean it is in the "public domain". Public domain images have no copyright restrictions and can be adapted, redistributed, and used for free in any way without  permission.

Creative Commons Images: There are 6 different creative commons licenses. If you are using images in the classroom or in Brightspace and are not adapting (altering or changing) them in any way, that use is permitted under all 6 licenses as long as attribution is given to the creator. Images with a "Creative Commons Zero" license are in the public domain.

A Better Way to Google Search Images

Google Advanced Image Search

Search Creative Commons Images

Images Available through the Library

The library has purchased collections of images that faculty can use in class and in Brightspace:

ArtStor has over a million high-quality images of artworks from Museums worldwide.

Oxford Art Online has over 19,000 images of ancient to contemporary art and architecture.

CITL's Learning Object Repository

Linney is Memorial's learning object repository containing collections of reusable digital learning objects, and open education resources that you can use or repurpose for teaching and learning, including images.

Collections of Images Under Creative Commons License or in the Public Domain

Most Popular

Subject Specific


Ad*Access: Duke University Libraries' US & Canadian advertisements covering beauty & hygiene, radio, TV, transportation, and WWII from 1911-1955, that can be used for teaching & research by providing attribution.


Photos for Class: Creative Commons images for classroom use. Downloaded images automatically cite the author and the image license terms.
Pics4Learning: Copyright-friendly photos and illustrations for classroom use.

Health Sciences

Open-i: Open Access biomedical images.
Welcome Collection: Images from the London museum and library science and medicine collection.
More health sciences image collections


Digital Bodleian: 700,000 images from the Bodleian Library. Most are creative commons license. Please check license of each image.
Historical Clip Art:
Public domain historical clip art.
U.S. History Images: Mainly Civil War.


American Institute of Physics: 30,000 historical images of scientists, labs, telescopes, accelerators, & other instruments, objects & places.
Messier Catalog: Astronomical pictures of Messier deep space objects.
NASA Image Galleries


U.S. Department of Agriculture Image Gallery: Public domain images including plants, animals, insects, food, etc.

Visual Art

Art Institute of Chicago: 50,000+ public domain images.
Cleveland Museum of Art: 30,000+ public domain images.
Europeana Art: O
ne million+ artworks from European museums, libraries and archives. Limit your search to "Can I Use this?" > "Yes", or "Yes, with conditions."
The Getty Open Content Images
Louvre Collections: Photos of over 480,000 works can be used for educational purposes as long as you link to the page on which it was downloaded. 
Metropolitan Museum of Art Open Access Artworks
National Gallery of Art: 50,000 public domain works.
Paris Musees: 320,000 public domain images from Parisian museums, palaces and Catacombs.
PD Poster: Vintage posters in the public domain.
Reusable Art: Free vintage images in the public domain.
Rijksmuseum Rijks Studio:
600,000 artworks from the Rijksmuseum, Netherlands, under Creative Commons licence.
World Images: 100,000 images, global in coverage, includes all areas of visual art.


Gender Spectrum Collection: Stock Photos Beyond the Binary featuring creative commons images of trans and non-binary models.
Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online: Images from the Library of Congress in the public domain.
New York Public Library: Public Domain Collections
Pexels: Free high-res stock photos. No attribution needed, though is appreciated.
Unsplash: Free high-res stock photos. No attribution needed, though is appreciated.
Vintage Patterns Wikia: Creative Commons illustrations and sewing patterns.

Photos Taken Before 1949

Did you Know?

Photographs taken before January 1, 1949 and not under Crown copyright are in the public domain in Canada!

Copyright Help

Not sure if you should use an image you found online?

The Library is responsible for copyright management at Memorial University. Please contact a Copyright Librarian for assistance.

Memorial University Images

For pictures of and relating to Memorial, you can search the university's Flickr photos.

All images are copyright Memorial University of Newfoundland. They may be used freely by Memorial University faculty, staff, students and alumni for purposes of promoting Memorial University. Individuals and organizations outside of Memorial University must get permission to use these photos by contacting Marketing & Communications at

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