Finding Images

Students need to be aware that giving credit is not the same as having permission to use an image. Pay attention to the terms of use for each site. It can vary for each website and even for individual images within one website. When using Google Image search, use the Search Tools, click Usage Rights, and use images labeled for noncommercial reuse.

Academic Sites:

Library of Congress
Search for photos, newspaper articles, maps, etc. This is a great site for primary source images!

New York Public Library Digital Collections
The Digital Gallery provides free access to over 700,000 images digitized from the NYPL's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more. Some of the images in the Digital Gallery may be subject to copyright.

Smithsonian Images
An amazing collection of photos on history and science. Students and teachers may use these photos for educational purposes. You must credit the Smithsonian and the photographer. See copyright section on the website for more detail on how these images may be used.

Creative Commons Search
This is not a search engine, but a clearinghouse for several sites that offer images you can use, modify or build on. Several of these sites may not open on school computers because of our filters, so please check that images you use will show up in your presentation.

NASA Images
The most comprehensive compilation of NASA stills, film and video. Students may use the images for school projects as long as they credit NASA.


The University of California’s collection of over 150,000 digitized primary sources. Its focus is California history, so keep that in mind when searching.

This site from San Jose State University has over 100,000 images with a global focus. Especially great for 6th and 7th grade history projects!

World Digital Library
The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.

The British Library
The British Library has uploaded over one million images to Flickr. This is a great site for decorative images, 6th and 7th grade history, or a different perspective on US history! When you type your search term, be sure to limit your search to The British Library's photostream, or you'll get a lot of personal Flickr photos that aren't relevant.

Getty Museum Open Content Images
Open content (free to use) images from the Getty Museum collection.

Commercial Sites:

Open Clip Art
"Open Clip Art Library(OCAL) is the largest collaborative community that creates, shares and remixes clipart. All clipart is released to the public domain and may be used in any project for free with no restrictions." --from Open Clip Art Library

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