University Library at St. Cloud State University

Free Media Licensed for Educational Purposes

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The Getty Open Content Program Unrestricted Resource
The Getty Museum makes available, without charge, all available digital images of art to which the Getty holds the rights or that are in the public domain to be used for any purpose. No permission is required. All of the images can be found on Getty Search Gateway, and the J. Paul Getty Museum images can also be accessed on the Museum's Collection webpages.

Europeana Collections Unrestricted Resource Resource contains images Resource contains videodatabase
Search for European cultural heritage resources from history, art, culture, and science. Site includes a GIF maker to turn classic works into social media fun.

Incredible Art Department: Free Clip Art Unrestricted Resource
A mega site for links to public domain and Creative Commons licensed clip art websites for projects in all subjects.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Image and Data Resources Unrestricted Resource Resource contains images

You are welcome to use images of artworks in The Met collection that the Museum believes to be in the public domain, or those to which the Museum waives any copyright it might have, for any purpose, including commercial and noncommercial use, free of charge and without requiring permission from the Museum.

To identify these images, look for the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) icon (Creative Commons Zero (CC0) icon) directly below the image. We encourage you to explore the images of artworks the Museum believes to be in the public domain by visiting Collection and selecting the "Public Domain Artworks" filter in the left-hand column. We've created 20 thematic sets of images to get you started: Masterpiece Paintings, Cats, Monsters and Mythological Creatures, Met-staches, New York City, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, Winter Wonderland, Vincent van Gogh, The Pre-Raphaelite Style, Self-Portraits, Quilts, Gold, Georges Seurat, Arms and Armor, The Monuments Men at The Met, Faces from the Ancient World, Tiffany Glass, Dress to Impress, Art or Design?, and Dishes.

National Gallery of Art Images Unrestricted Resource Resource contains images
NGA Images is a repository of digital images of the collections of the National Gallery of Art. On this website you can search, browse, share, and download images. A standards-based reproduction guide and a help section provide advice for both novices and experts. More than 51,000 open access digital images up to 4000 pixels each are available free of charge for download and use. NGA Images is designed to facilitate learning, enrichment, enjoyment, and exploration.
Historical Images and Videos
American Memory from the Library of Congress Unrestricted Resource database
The gateway to the Library of Congress’s digitized American primary source materials including photographs, posters, maps, letters, diaries, sound recordings, films, books, pamphlets, and sheet music.  

The British Library Flickr Account Unrestricted Resource
Public domain historic images, photos, and illustrations from the British Library Flickr account. 

Europeana Collections Unrestricted Resource Resource contains images Resource contains videodatabase
Search for European cultural heritage resources from history, art, culture, and science. Site includes a GIF maker to turn classic works into social media fun.

Internet Moving Image Archive Unrestricted Resource
IMIA is a collection of approximately 139,000movies, including classic feature films and animated cartoons in the public domain; historical documentary works; educational and industrial films; home movies; newsreels; advertisements; propaganda; and other vintage ephemera. Keyword searching and category browsing is available.

Library of Congress: American Folklife Center Unrestricted Resource Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audiodatabase
The American Folklife Center Archive, established in the Library of Congress Music Division in 1928, is now one of the largest archives of ethnographic materials from the United States and around the world, encompassing millions of items of ethnographic and historical documentation recorded from the nineteenth century to the present. These collections, which include extensive audiovisual documentation of traditional arts, cultural expressions, and oral histories, offer researchers access to the songs, stories, and other creative expressions of people from diverse communities.

Library of Congress: American Memory: Migrated Collections Unrestricted Resource Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audiodatabase
Collections that have been migrated no longer appear in internal American Memory search results and browse lists. To search all Library collections (including American Memory) please visit, or browse the full array of digitized collections at You can also use the links below to go to the new presentations for single collections.

The Public Domain Project Unrestricted Resource Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audio
Download thousands of historic media files for your creative projects or instructional materials. Completely free. Made available by Pond5. Includes video, music, sound effects, after effects, photos, vectors and illustrations, and 3D models.
Music and Sound Effects
Public Domain Information Project: List of Public Domain Music Unrestricted Resource
Search for millions of songs and musical works in the public domain. Includes audio files and sheet music.

SoundBible Unrestricted Resource Resource contains audiodatabase has thousands of free sound effects for everyone. Browse our extensive sound library and pick and choose the sounds you want. Sounds are updated 3x a week or more, so be sure to bookmark this page.
STEM Resources
Biodiversity Heritage Library Unrestricted Resource
The Biodiversity Heritage Library improves research methodology by collaboratively making biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community. Includes public domain and Creative Commons licensed texts and images. Click here for their special collections.

U.S. National Library of Medicine Unrestricted Resource

NASA Unrestricted Resource
Provides information gathered by NASA and its affiliates, with daily news stories on current astronomical events, data received from space probes, and the latest information on shuttle launches. (Diana Hacker, 2003)

NOAA Photo Library Unrestricted Resource Resource contains imagesdatabase
National Weateher Service catalog of weather-related images.
Why Licenses Matter
Public domain is a designation for content that is not protected by any copyright law or other restriction and may be freely copied, shared, altered and republished by anyone. The designation means, essentially, that the content belongs to the community at large. Creative works whose copyright expires will go into the public domain. Please click here for what works currently are in the public domain.

Creative Commons Licenses enable the free use and distribution of copyrighted work. There are six different licenses which communicate how content should be used and credited. Please visit our subject guide on Creative Commons here for more information: Creative Commons
How Do I Find Free Licensed Media?
Add "CC Search" to your browser, to automatically search for Creative Commons licensed works.

Google Advanced Image Search will allow you to filter results by usage rights and license. Search for free to use images, texts, and videos this way by following these directions.

All government publications are in the public domain. Check out our Government Publications guide for more information.

Wikimedia Commons is also an excellent site to locate Creative Commons and public domain licensed images, photos, sounds, and videos on a wide variety of topics.

Want more resources?  Check out these recommended free stock photo resources and this list of free digital media for educational use
What about Free Books?
Please visit our following subject guides for public domain and Creative Commons licensed books:
eBooks and eReader Apps
Open Educational Resources (OER)
Open Textbooks
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