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Open Access

How to Use Open Access Images & Video

Open Access Images

Many of the images in these collections are in the public domain and are free of any copyright restrictions.  However, some of the images are not in the public domain.  Review any restrictions for use for each image and abide by any restrictions.  Cite the author of each image used.

Sources for OA Images

  • What is in the collection:  The collection contains stock photos, historical images, clip art, music, and video.
  • How can you use it:  Creative Commons offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations. CC has no control over the results that are returned, so you should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license.  Do not assume that the results displayed in your search are under a CC license.
  • What is in the collection:  the search results will include images of all types including photographs, clip art, graphics, animated clips and line drawings.
  • How can you use it:  filter images by reuse, reuse with modification, noncommercial reuse, and noncommerciall reuse with modification.
  • What is in the collection:  works included are photographs and videos; this is a photo sharing and photo management website.
  • How can you use it:  Flickr allows users to license their works to others; select the Any License to filter the types of images you plan to utilize
  • What is in the collection:  Wellcome Images is one of the world's richest and most unique collections, with themes ranging from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and biomedical science.
  • How you can use it:  If an image is not marked ‘rights-managed’ then it is free to use at both high and low resolution.

What is in the collection: search for the best free stock photos in one place.

How you can use the collection: all photos on Pexels are free for personal and commercial purposes. Attribution is not required.

  • What is in the collection: beautiful, free photos.
  • How you can use it: all photos can be used free for commercial or noncommercial purposes.  Attribution is not required, but is appreciated.


  • What is in the collection: the collections include photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings.
  • How can you use it: The nature of historical archival collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Whenever possible, the Library provides information about copyright owners and other restrictions in the catalog records or other texts that accompany collections. The Library provides such information as a service to aid patrons in determining the appropriate use of an item, but that determination ultimately rests with the user.

History & Maps

  • What is in the collection: online access to videos, many of which are from the Netherlands.
  • How you can use it: access to the material on Open Images is provided under the Creative Commons licensing model. Licenses and requirements are included with each audiovisual entry.

Museums & Galleries

Science & Medicine

  • What is in the collection: - Images, audio, video, and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format - generally are not copyrighted. You may use this material for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits, computer graphical simulations and Internet Web pages. This general permission extends to personal Web pages.
  • How can you use it: NASA has extensive image and video galleries online, including historic images, current missions, astronomy pictures, and ways to search for NASA images.
  • What is in the collection: The Images collection is a selection of digital still images which are the very best visual representation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mission - "working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people".   
  • How can you use it:  A searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video, most of which are in the public domain.  Those not in the public domain are intended for personal, private use.