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Images: Finding and Using Images for Research and Instruction: Home
A guide to finding images for classroom, Internet, publication, and presentation use, including links to sites with information about legal issues in using images.
This guide compiles resources for finding and using images. It is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all sources for finding images, but rather a sample of BGSU resources and websites.
When you use an image you are responsible for learning the exact restrictions and permissions of that specific image. The Copyright and Citing Images page compiles some useful sites that explain various issues about copyright and images.
The information in this guide is not meant to constitute legal advice. The librarians who compiled this guide are not lawyers and can not answer questions about what is legal or illegal. If you have questions about what is legal, you should consult an attorney.
The following databases are available to BGSU faculty, staff, students, and walk-in users.
Digital collections originating from materials housed in the BGSU University Libraries' archival collections and branch libraries.
Coverage: 20th and 21st century
Some materials may be protected by copyright in these cases, Bowling Green State University either owns the copyright or makes them available for non-commercial, educational purposes, according to fair use guidelines (section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law). Most collections are licensed under a Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives, 3.0 United States license. Copyrighted objects are not licensed for re-use and are intended for browsing only users wishing to re-use these materials must seek permission from the copyright holder. Individual records for objects in the digital collections will indicate their copyright status.
An archive of millions of digitized texts, audio and moving images, as well as born-digital materials like software and web pages. Items in the Internet Archive are contributed both by libraries and individuals, and are in the public domain, meaning they were either published before 1923 or are otherwise freely available to the public.
Combined catalog to the collections of hundreds of Ohio museums, historical societies, libraries, and archives, bringing together thousands of primary source materials including historical periodicals, cultural objects, documents, photographs, and archival records.
Free Search Engines
There's more to the web than Google. Try some of these other image search engines.
Creative Commons licenses give everyone from individual creators to large institutions a standardized way to grant the public permission to use their creative work under copyright law. From the re-user’s perspective, the presence of a Creative Commons license on a copyrighted work answers the question, “What can I do with this work?”
Below are some sources for images to use within your own projects. While most of these databases are meant to provide freely usable images, please check the exact licensing restrictions carefully.
Free high resolution digital stock photography for corporate or public use. "The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for use in all creative pursuits." There are licensing restrictions -- check them!
"Wikimedia Commons is a media repository that is created and maintained... by volunteers....it provides a central repository for freely licensed photographs, diagrams, animations, music, spoken text, video clips, media of all sorts."
FreePhotos.cc is a free resource where you can find creative commons photos for your website or print projects. FreePhotos.cc uses the APIs from a few stock photo providers and gathers images in one place for easy preview and download.
The LIFE Picture Collection is the visual chronicle of the 20th century and one of the most important photographic archives in the United States. From 1936 to 2000, LIFE commissioned more than 10 million photographs across 120,000 stories. At its height, LIFE magazine’s incomparable images and essays reached 1 of 3 American readers. The original pictures and articles remain in Meredith’s LIFE Picture Collection, an unprecedented cultural asset with millions of untold stories and unseen images.