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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

5 Good Places for Students to Find Public Domain Images

On a fairly regular basis I'm asked for suggestions on places to find public domain images. I have a handful of go-to sites that I usually recommend.

Pixabay is currently my first recommendation for a place to find and download quality public domain images. You can search on Pixabay by using keywords or you can simply browse through the library of images. When you find an image you can download it in the size that suits your needs. Registered users do not have to enter a captcha code to download images. Users who do not register can download images, but they do have to enter a captcha code before downloading each picture. 

Every Stock Photo is a search engine for public domain and Creative Commons licensed pictures. When you search on Every Stock Photo it pulls images from dozens of sources across the web. If you click on an image in your search results you will be taken to a larger version of the image, a link to the source, and the attribution requirements for using that picture. 

The Morgue File photo collection contains thousands of images that anyone can use for free in academic or commercial presentations. The image collection can be searched by subject category, image size, color, or rating. You will find a mix of images that don't require attribution along with some that do require attribution so pay attention to the labels that come with each picture. Morgue File is more than just a source for free images. The Morgue File also features a "classroom" where visitors can learn photography techniques and get tips about image editing.

Each time that I visit it the Flickr Commons collection seems to have grown. The Commons contains images that have been contributed by more than five dozen libraries and museums around the world. The images are mostly historical in nature.

Bing has an option for finding public domain images. To access this setting go to Bing Images, enter your search term, then use the "license" menu to select public domain images. One thing to note about using Bing Images with elementary and middle school students is, depending upon what students search for, some of the "related" images and search suggestions might not always be appropriate for classrooms.