10 Web Resources for Public Domain Images

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Public Domain Images - 10 Sources

Public domain images - images that are freely available for any use - are numerous on the Web. Here are 10 high quality Web resources for public domain images that you can use for private or commercial purposes. 

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PDPhoto

PDPhoto offers thousands of royalty free photos for your personal use (commercial use licenses vary by image). More about this site: "PDPhoto.org is a repository for free public domain photos. Unless something is clearly marked as being copyrighted, you can assume it is free to use. But if you intend to use an image you find here for commercial use, please be aware that standards for such use are higher. Specifically, you should assume no model release was obtained. And pictures featuring products or property should be used with care."

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WPClipart

 If you need clipart for pretty much any project you can think of, you'll probably be able to find it at WPClipart, a repository of over 35,000 free, high-quality, public domain images.More about this site: "WPClipart is an ever-growing collection of artwork for schoolkids and others that is free of copyright concerns as well as safe from inappropriate images. Usage in school research and reports is my main focus when creating, or finding and editing -- but there are photos and clips here that work great for commercial uses, book illustrations, office presentations, and some just for fun."

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Public Domain Pictures

Public Domain Pictures offers thousands of really gorgeous photos, images, and drawings, all available for your use online or offline.

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Morgue File

The Morgue File is a great source for public domain images you can use for private or commercial purposes; they tend to attract really high quality photo submissions. More about this site: "Looking for high resolution stock photos for your illustration, comp or design needs? Search morgueFile for free reference images. Yes, they're all completely free. whether you're an illustrator, art director, instructor or looking to add a defining visual to a presentation."

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Liam's Pictures From Old Books

Looking for some really unique images? Try Liam's Pictures from Old Books, a great source for over 2,600 high-resolution free images scanned in from a wide variety of old or out of print books. 

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Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons is a gigantic (over 27 million images at the time of this writing) repository of public domain images and other media content available in a wide variety of languages.

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NYPL Digital Gallery

The New York Public Library has organized a huge collection of really wonderful public domain images, and made them all available to the public. This collection includes illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more.

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Flickr Commons

Access hundreds of public photography images with Flickr Commons, a joint project with the Library of Congress. More about this project: "The Commons was launched on January 16 2008, when we released our pilot project in partnership with The Library of Congress. Both Flickr and the Library were overwhelmed by the positive response to the project! Thank you!

The program has two main objectives:

  1. To increase access to publicly-held photography collections, and
  2. To provide a way for the general public to contribute information and knowledge. (Then watch what happens when they do!)."
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Public Domain Archive

This site is one of the best high quality public domain image archives on the Web. More about this site: "I’ve always loved incorporating high quality photos in my designs and in the last few years I discovered public domain images as a great resource. The problem is, there’s no one place to go and find tons of high quality public domain images. The sites that do have good images are hard to find and I always forget the domain name of these public domain resources. So, I set out to change that! I created PublicDomainArchive.com as a repository where I will be archiving the high quality public domain images that I find across the web. A hub for all high quality public domain images. I also wanted to create a website with a minimalist design that keeps the focus on the images."