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Where can I find free public domain images and pictures?

Free picturesToday, there are dozens of great Internet web sites that offer thousands of free public domain and royalty free images. Below is a list of some of the best available sites to find these pictures.

Note: All of these sites have free images with different agreements. Make sure the images you're copying have no restrictions or have license agreements that allow you to use them how you choose.

Free Images
Free Images is one of the best sites to locate free stock photos. The site is one of the best sites to locate free stock photos and contains thousands of free images that can be used by virtually anyone. While many of the pictures are free, some of the images do require written permission first.

Google Images with usage rights
Doing a search on Google Image search is a great way to find lots of interesting pictures, but it used to be very time consuming to find pictures you could legally use on your site. Thankfully, Google now has an option to search images by usage rights. As you can see in the image below, under the Search tools (1.) and then Usage Rights (2.), there are options to filter your picture search based on how they are going to be used.

Google Image with usage rights search

Wikimedia Commons
Fantastic media repository that is part of the Wikipedia umbrella project, where users are free to use any of the site's photos, audio, videos, and other media freely.

Flickr: The Commons
Commons is a Flickr feature for pictures from The Library Of Congress, Powerhouse Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Smithsonian Institution, and Flickr users who have pictures with no copyrights.
A fantastic collection of scans from the British Library of over 11,000,000 public domain pictures.

Microsoft Office free images and clipart
Another great site that offers thousands of royalty free pictures and even clipart that are available for all users.

Another fantastic site to locate high resolution digital stock photography. The site offers thousands of free images, almost all of which have no restrictions or agreements attached. Also, the site does not require a login to download the high quality files.

U.S. Government Graphics and Photos
Another fantastic site containing hundreds of thousands of public domain images, linking to image categories. Categories include the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, crops, geology, Indians, mammals, money, mountains, NASA, Navy, parks, Presidents, space, storms, volcanoes, war, wildlife, and more.

A great collection of totally free photos for commercial and personal use in a wide variety of categories.

Another great site that contains thousands of free stock photography in a large variety of categories.

A great site that lists several hundred photos in about a dozen different albums.

PD Photo
Another great collection of thousands of free public domain pictures. This site contains one of the best collections of travel pictures from around the world.

Simple, easy to use site with nearly 65,000 photos and illustrations. All of the pictures may be used freely for any purpose, without attribution.

Liam's pictures from Old Books
A good collection of original pictures from old books that are no longer copyrighted and considered public domain. This is a great place to find obscure and unique pictures and illustration.

California State University site that contains over 60,000 images from around the world that can be used freely for non-profit and educational use.

Another fantastic site with not only photographs, but traditional art, digital art, stock images, and more. Keep in mind that this site contains both royalty free and copyrighted works. Make sure you view the artists' or photographers' usage guidelines and rules before using any image.


The above list is just a few of our favorite sites, which we have found to be useful for locating free public domain images. If the above links do not have the images you're looking for, there are hundreds of other available services online. Click here to open a search for hundreds more.