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Copyright & Multimedia: Images

Exclamation point Warning!

Make sure that you understand the basics of Copyright and fair use before you consider using third-party multimedia content for your multimedia projects. Learn more by reading these pages: Introduction, What Can I Use?, Can I Claim Fair Use?, and Using Creative Commons Licensed Materials.

Below, we have listed several sites with images that you may be able to use in your projects without getting permission from the copyright holder. Be sure to check the copyright/license status and be sure it matches with your use — it is your responsibility to determine that your use of third-party materials is legal!

CC Search

CC Search from Creative Commons searches over 300,000,000 images, including cultural works from museums, graphic designs, art works, and, photos from Flickr. 


Using the Advanced Search feature on Flickr, you can choose to “All Creative Commons licenses.” Images from the U.S. National Archives Photostream on Flickr are marked "no known copyright restrictions" and may be freely used.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed media content. Wikimedia Commons has a page where you can browse all of their Creative Commons licensed images.

Library of Congress - Prints and Photographs

This collection has over 1,000,000 images from the Library's collections. Rights information is available for each image - look for the field marked "Rights Advisory." Many collections have no known restrictions on use. For further information about using the collection, read the Copyright and Other Restrictions That Apply to Publication/Distribution of Images. Information on restrictions on use by collection is also available.

New York Public Library

This collection contains more than 180,000 photographs, postcards, maps and other public-domain items from the library’s special collections in downloadable high-resolution files — along with an invitation to users to grab them and do with them whatever they please.


Europeana provides access to millions of digitized items from European museums, libraries, and archives. After getting your search results, use the "Can I use it" or "By copyright" options to limit your results to public domain or open access images.

Stock Images


Pixabay has a large collection of stock images that are free to download and use. All are released under the Creative Commons CC0 license and may be used freely, and attribution is not required. Search results on Pixabay display "Sponsored images" at the top of the page. These images are from Shutterstock and require a fee for download and use. Read more about Pixabay here.


Pexels has over 25,000 high quality free stock photos with more added each month. All images are licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 license and can be used without restrictions. Read more about Pexels here.

Art Images

British Library

The British Library’s collection on flickr allows access to over 1 million public domain images from the Library's collections.

Getty Images

This site has open content from the Getty Museum's collections. More information about the content of the collections and how they can be used is available on their Open Content Program page.

National Gallery of Art

NGA Images is a repository of images presumed to be in the public domain from the collections of the National Gallery of Art. 

Victoria & Albert Museum

These images of art from the collections of the V&A are available for certain non-commercial uses, including some academic publishing. Read the full Terms of Use to see if your use qualifies.


Artstor's collections can be used by the Georgetown community for noncommercial educational and scholarly uses. Please note that our license allows images from Artstor to be posted only on websites that are restricted to Georgetown users. Some images in Artsor are licensed for academic publishing under the Images for Academic Publishing (IAP) program. You can limit your search to IAP images by adding "IAP" to your search query. An icon reading "IAP" appears under the thumbnail image in your search results.

Access to Artstor is available on-campus or off-campus with a Georgetown NetID and password.

Find more resources for images in our Images research guide or the College Art Association's list of Image Sources and Rights Clearance Agencies.

Introduction  What Can I Use? Can I Claim Fair Use?
Video  /  Audio  /  Images