Under each item, see directions for finding Creative Commons–licensed photos and images, as needed.
- Age-positive image library
This collection of images from the Centre for Aging Better is intended to show “positive and realistic images of over 50s in a bid to challenge negative and stereotypical views of older age.” These images are dedicated to the public domain via the CC0 1.0 dedication; check the guide for more information on using the images.
- Disabled and Here Collection
“This stock library is a disability-led effort to provide free and inclusive images from our own perspective, with photos and illustrations celebrating disabled Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC).” Images are licensed CC BY 4.0; check the Usage Guidelines for more information on using the images.
- Diversity and inclusion—open collections from across the world
“Digitised cultural heritage collections can play an important role in protecting and promoting diversity and inclusion. Explore this selection of material from across the world featuring the cultural heritage of various communities.”
- Flickr Advanced Search
To find Creative Commons–licensed and other rights-free images, select the desired criteria from the drop-down menu on the left. Options include “All creative commons,” “No known copyright restrictions,” and so on.
To download images, you’ll need to provide an email address or register, and you may also be asked to watch an ad. See the terms and conditions for details on using images from this site.
- The Gender Spectrum Collection: Stock Photos Beyond the Binary
Created by Broadly and now at VICE.com, “the Gender Spectrum Collection is a stock photo library featuring images of trans and non-binary models that go beyond the clichés. This collection aims to help media better represent members of these communities as people not necessarily defined by their gender identities—people with careers, relationships, talents, passions, and home lives.” The images in this collection are all licensed CC BY-NC-ND 4.0; read the guidelines about their use.
- The Greats
This collection provides “remarkably designed campaign materials (posters, social media visuals, postcards and many more) concerning human rights issues to be printed, shared or adapted (non-commercially) and distributed by activists and organizations all across the world, online and offline.” Images are licensed CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.
- Google Images
After entering your search terms and getting a gallery of results, click on “Tools” in the menu above the results. Then click on “Usage Rights” and select “Creative Commons licenses” from the drop-down menu to filter the results for Creative Commons–licensed images from Wikimedia, Flickr, and other sites.
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Check the box next to “Show public domain images only” before entering your keywords in the search bar. For more information on using this site, see the LACMA blog Unframed.
“Beautiful photos of Black and Brown people, for free.” These images are dedicated to the public domain via the CC0 1.0 dedication.
- National Park Service Multimedia Search
Use the filters on the left to find photos. Note that only multimedia credited to NPS without any copyright symbol are in the public domain; other photos may have rights reserved.
- NOAA Photo Library
“The NOAA Photo Library collections reflect NOAA’s broad mission of advancing science ‘from the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun.’ […] The collection includes thousands of weather and space images, hundreds of images of shores and coastal seas, and thousands of marine species images ranging from whales to the most minute plankton.” All images are in the public domain.
- Noun Project
Noun Project provides two sets of resources: a collection of more than 3 million icons and a “professionally curated collection of authentic, beautiful images that celebrate diversity and represent a more inclusive world.” Icons are available for free download under a CC BY 3.0 license; photos are available for free download under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license. Users need to log in to download resources and may pay to download and use icons and photos without attribution.
- Open Access Artworks (The Met)
- Open Access at the National Gallery of Art
“The National Gallery of Art has an open access policy for images of works of art in our permanent collection which the Gallery believes to be in the public domain. Images of these works are available for download free of charge for any use, whether commercial or non-commercial.”
- Open Peeps
Use these hand-drawn images by Pablo Stanley to create characters. “The library works like building blocks made of vector arms, legs, and emotions. You can mix these elements to create different Peeps.” These illustrations are dedicated to the public domain via the CC0 1.0 dedication.
“Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Pexels license.”
This repository includes stock photos licensed under the Pixabay license. First results are often sponsored and lead to fee images; skip over these.
This repository includes stock photos licensed under the Pixnio license.
- Smithsonian Collections Search Center
Select the filter “Only return results with CC0 media” to search for media in the public domain.
Unsplash provides high-quality, stylish stock photos taken by photographers around the world. Note that the Unsplash license is different from Creative Commons licenses in that attribution is not required, although it is appreciated. Unsplash maintains a FAQ about using its photographs.
- What are good resources for finding diverse images of people?
- Wikimedia Commons
The search bar is in the upper right of the main page. After initiating a search, filter for “Images,” and select the desired license from the “License” drop-down menu.