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Open Resources

This guide provides you information on finding, creating, and sharing open resources.

Using Image Sources

Need images for your presentations, online learning modules, or teaching and training materials? These image sources can help you find images that make it easy to satisfy copyright requirements.

For more information on attribution, see our Image Citation Guide.

Public Domain and Creative Commons Resources

The following resources offer collections of images that fall into one of the following copyright categories:

  • Public Domain (PD): works for which copyright has expired, or been waived by the copyright holder.
  • Creative Commons (CC): works that have been permissively licensed and made available for reuse.

These items are still under copyright and reuse may have certain conditions. For instance, you must always provide attribution when reusing a CC-licensed image; for more information on attributing images, see our guide on how to cite images. To be safe, remember to always double-check the licensing conditions of individual items. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Name Description License Information
Creative Commons Search Creative Commons Search is a meta-search tool that searches across a numbner of platforms to find CC-licensed images. Platforms included Google Images, Europeana, Flickr, and Wikimedia Commons. All versions of CC licences are represented
Flickr Creative Commons Search The Flickr Creative Commons Search allows you to search all of image sources for items that are either CC-licensed or public domain. All versions of CC licences are represented
The Noun Project The Noun Project contains a catalogue of symbols that are created and uploaded by graphic designers under a CC-license. Most items are CC-BY 3.0 United States, although creators have the ability to choose from a variety of CC Licences.
Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons contains over 20 million freely usable image, sound, and video files. All versions of CC licences are represented
Name Description License Information
The Flickr Commons The Flickr Commons is a partnership with libraries, museums, archives, and galleries to share public domain historical photography collections from around the world. Terms of Use
Wellcome Images Wellcome Images contains historical images of thousands of years of human culture. Unless otherwise noted, CC-BY 4.0
Europeana Europeana is an extensive collection of historical digital resources from museums, galleries, and archives throughout Europe. It contains thematic collections on art, fashion, music, photography and World War I Check individual images for terms of use. The advanced search tool allows users to filter by images that can be freely and openly used or by specific license.
Getty Open Content Program The Getty Open Content Program makes available high-resolution images of their museum collection, including paintings, manuscripts, photographs, sculpture, etc. Refer to site's Terms of Use
Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection Online The Met provides access to over 450,000 high-resolution digital works in its collection. Refer to the site's Terms of Use
Open Glam Open Collections OpenGLAM (Open Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) curates an extensive list of Open Collections from several cultural institutions. Check individual images for terms of use.
The Smithsonian Institute Collections Search The Smithsonian Collections Search Center is an online catalog containing most of Smithsonian major collections from its museums, archives, libraries, and research units. Refer to site's Terms of Use
UBC Open Collections UBC Library's Open Collections include digital photos, books, newspapers, maps, videos, theses and more. These publicly-accessible collections are constantly growing and reflect the research interests of the UBC community and beyond. Refer to individual items for specific information
Calisphere Calisphere provides free access to over 925, 000 unique and historically important artifacts for research, teaching, and curious exploration. Many public domain items, but some images have copyright restrictions. Refer to individual images for specific information
NYPL Digital Collections The New York Public Library Digital Collections contains 729,730 items and counting. Refer to site's Terms of Use
Name Description License Information
BioMed Central BMC is an open access publisher of over 300 peer-reviewed journals, sharing discoveries from research communities in science, technology, engineering and medicine. Tables and figures published in articles on BioMed Central are available for use under the same CC-BY 2.0 or (starting Feb. 3, 2014) CC-BY 4.0 license as the journal articles. Advance permission is not required, but be sure to include a full citation.
PLOS One PLOS One is a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science. Figures and graphs in articles are also CC-licensed and available for reuse.
Morphbank: Biological Imaging Images not password-protected are CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license, or under a less restrictive license. Password-protected images may not be used without written authorization from copyright holder. Morphbank is a database of images that scientists use for international collaboration, research and education. Images deposited document a wide variety of scientific research
Science Image Science Image is an image library specialising in science and nature images. It is presented by CSIRO, Australia's major science research organisation. All images are under a CC-BY- 3.0 license.
US National Library of Medicine Images from the History of Medicine (IHM) provides online access to images from the historical collections of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. IHM includes image files of a wide variety of visual media including fine art, photographs, engravings, and posters that illustrate the social and historical aspects of medicine dating from the 15th to 21st century. Mostly public domain, but some images have copyright restrictions. Refer to individual images for specific information
Public Health Image Library A database of images, illustrations, and videos created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on topics related to public health such as , natural disasters, bioterrorism, healthy behaviours etc. Refer to the site's "About" page for reuse information
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