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Finding primary sources online: Find Creative Commons and public domain images and videos

Resource List

Creative Commons Search: http://search.creativecommons.org (all formats)

Use the checkboxes to specify if you need content for commercial purposes or adaptation. Select the site you want to search. Then type your search terms into the box and press Enter. Make sure you check the license of any items you find before using them.

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com  (video)

After you type in your search terms and get to a search results page, click the Filter button. In the list of options, choose Creative Commons. On an individual video page, click Show More to see the license information.

 

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com (images and video, mostly images)

After you type in your search terms and get to a search results page, click the Advanced Search link. Check the boxes next to Creative Commons to choose the kind of CC license you want to search for. On an individual video page, the copyright status is listed under License.

 

Flickr Commons: http://www.flickr.com/commons (images and video, mostly images)

Most images and videos in Flickr Commons are public domain (check the information under License to check the copyright status of an individual photo). Make sure you use the search box in the middle of the page, next to A Commons Sampler. (The search box on the top of the page will search all of Flickr, not just the Commons.) 

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org (images and video, mostly images)

Click on an image or video, and scroll down to the Licensing information to find out its copyright status.

Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page (images and video)

Click on an image or video, and scroll down to the Licensing information to find out its copyright status.

Vimeo: http://vimeo.com (video)

The ability to limit your search to CC-licensed videos isn’t available yet, but will be soon! On individual video pages, the license information is under About This Video.

 

Internet Archive: http://www.archive.org (images and video)

To search for public domain or Creative Commons-licensed content, use the constructed searches at http://www.archive.org/about/faqs.php#263. On individual image and video pages, the copyright/license information is in the main description.

The Getty Trust Open Content Program http://www.getty.edu/about/opencontent.html (images)

The Getty Trust  makes available, without charge, all available digital images to which the Getty holds the rights or that are in the public domain to be used for any purpose. No permission is required.

A few great public domain and Creative Commons-licensed works

Below are a few examples of some of the great public domain and Creative Commons-licensed content available online. Public domain works have no copyright restrictions and can be freely copied and reused. For Creative Commons-licensed works, check the terms of the CC license used (most allow non-commercial use).

Visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses to learn more about the different kinds of Creative Commons licenses.

Images from the Library of Congress on Flickr Commons

These images, like most images on Flickr Commons, are in the public domain and have no copyright restrictions.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Sita Sings the Blues

Sita Sings the Blues has a BY-SA CC license. You are free to use this video as long as you attribute the work in the way the creator wants you to and release any derivative works under a similar license.

Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead is in the public domain due to a failure to register the copyright.