Thursday, 16 June 2016

Day 11 - Public Domain Images

Public Domain Images

Public domain images are images on the web that is no longer restricted by copyright law. That means that they can be reused, revised, remixed and redistributed (the four R's of open content) by all of us.

They are different to images released under Creative Commons. Creative Commons images are also open content but copyright still applies. It's simply that the creator (and owner of the copyright) has waived his or her control over that image.

Anyway, here are a collection of my favourite public domain image collections. There may be some Creative Commons images as some websites have mixed them up. However, they can all be freely used.

Vintage illustrations from antique books, postcards, and advertisements from the 18th to the early 20th century.

Thousands of images that can be freely downloaded from the Getty Museum
The British Library has scanned in over a million images from their collections and put them on Flickr. All of them public domain. The drawback is that there is very little in the way of metadata (words to describe the images) so searching is limited. However, as an exercise in crowdsourcing the British Library are encouraging people to add descriptions to the images to help others in the future.
A digitisation collection from New York Public Library. Free to download hi-res copies.
Thousands of hi-res images to freely download from the Wellcome Institute. The emphasis will be on medical matters.
The best till last. The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands. You can reuse, revise, remix and redistribute any of the images from their collections.

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