Images are probably the most searched for media type in education. They are probably also the most misused in terms of Copyright, which unfortunately has sometimes resulted in legal action being taken against individual  teachers, schools and colleges. This section of the toolkit curates some extensive and varied sources and categories of open images. It also includes licence information wherever possible.


The British Library has uploaded over one million images in the public domain on Flickr, this collection is part of the Library’s contribution to Flickr Commons. Because of the quantity the curated albums view offers a good introduction for browsing the collection. One can also access all the other images from each individual publication from which an image was obtained from, together with the complete accompanying text.

Flickr Commons is a curated library of historic photography from around the world. It has been made available through the participation of 114 public museums, libraries and institutions who have agreed to share their archives. All images are available to be downloaded with no copyright restrictions.

Helsinki City Museum has over 65000 images from the 1840s to the present day that are free to download and use. Tip! If searching - use Finnish (google translate). CC BY 

Hemeroteca Digital the The Digital Newspapers and Magazines Library, Lisbon Municipal Library (HML) includes many many periodical titles from our historical collection (currently, we have about 210 online publications,  the oldest , dating from the eighteenth century , namely the "Gazeta de Lisboa" 1715. This is an excellent resource for studying historic illustration,  typography, news images and advertising. CC BY NC SA Licence

Image Catalogue is an archive of Public Domain and Creative Commons licenced images, found across the web, curated on Flickr. The purpose of this archive is to help teachers, educators, and artists discover and re-use quality open-license images. Sources are acknowledged for reference.
Internet Archive Book Images over 5.3 million images scanned from historic books in the Public Domain. You can also view all the other images in each individual book from which image was sourced. You can also read/download the whole book. With such a number number of images it is often useful to use the search feature. A search for Automobile returned over 19,000 images. 

NEN Gallery A gallery of images from The National Education Network submitted by teachers and students, and categorised both for curriculum use and subject matter provided freely for Educational use only.

PixaBay  offers quality high resolution 'stock' images indicated as CC0 

University of Edinburgh Image Collection  A comprehensive collection of images covering an extensive range of topics. “Existing Images not in copyright or subject to the Data Protection Act will be made available to download at high resolution for free under a Creative Commons CC BY licence”

Unsplash High quality and resolution 'stock' photos - landscapes, objects, all licenced  CC0,  and updated regularly. Unsplash also has curated collections from museums and is entering into other partnerships to broaden the Unsplash library of open visuals for business, education, libraries and writers . Unsplash now includes a visual search tool.

Wikimedia Commons is the main file repository for over 68 and a quarter million openly licenced media assets used on Wikipedia. If you are browsing Commons for the first time, you may want to start with Featured pictures, Quality images, Valued images or Featured media. All content can be browsed by a range of categories,
WikiMini Open stock images for the very young and not so young arranged by subject and topic.

Individual curators and archivists

Note: some images on this category may be culturally sensitive, or there may be doubts to their provenance due to the author not legally  ‘owning copyright’  as they may claim. It is the users responsibility to check when using.

All Free Pictures is a Flickr group where users share their CC Licenced and Public Domain Images. It includes monthly challenges and themes. Licence: various Creative Commons.

BiblioOdessey an image resource scanned from rare posters, illustrations and books, these are also available on the author's blog that provides a more detailed explanation of the artefacts annotated. CC BY  Licence.

foundin_a_attic the curator of this collection invited friends and others for old photos that he could openly share on Flickr using  an open CC BY licence. It now contains over 124,000 photographs - mainly old (film) snapshots, and also some video clips from around the world. It covers a gamut of technical quality and dates. Ideal source material for remixing and re-editing. CC BY Licence.

Halloween HJB Halloween HJB  8000 plus colourful historic and vintage posters covering advertising, travel, entertainment and more  ideal for students of design, typography and humanities. Classified by artists in albums for  reference.  CC BY NC Licence.

Jan Willemsen Historical documents, photos and ephemera from the Netherlands. 
CC BY NC Licence.schools. 

Thomas Hawk Prolific professional photographer and writer whose images focus on the American landscape and culture. CC BY NC Licence.

Photos Of The Past A collection of curated vintage images, including help identify the locations. project. Licence Public Domain

X Ray Delta ephemera that explores the visual narrative of the Cold War and the American Dream. CC BY NC licence.