& Using Images
Most major search engines offer an image search option. These services
will find images on the Web, but do not in anyway authorize you to use
them. Most images on the Web are copyrighted, even if they don't say so,
and only the holder of the copyright can grant permission for use of the
image. In some cases, use of an image may be covered by Fair
Use. (See Using Images below).
Finding "free" image collections
Search the internet using the following terms:
- public domain
Some image collections:
- Stock.xchng: photo sharing site with 1000s of images. Usage restrictions are given for each photo.
- PDImages: public
domain images. Thumbnail images available free with attribution.
- Pics4Learning: "copyright
friendly images for use by students and teachers in an educational setting."
- Barry's Clipart Gallery:
Be sure to use the search box in the top banner of the screen. Other
search boxes are parts of advertisements
- Absolutely Free
Clipart: Beware of ads. Use the Categories on the left side of the
screen to get to the free stuff.
Memory Collections: Searchable database of Library of Congress digital
collection of photos and prints. See comments on Rights & Reproductions
- For more, see Where to Find Free Images and Visuals for My Blog, an online article/blog that suggests a wealth of resources!
Most Internet images, even those that are "free,"
are copyrighted (even if they don't say it). "Free" usually
refers to "royalty-free," meaning that the copyright holder
grants permission to use the images, under certain conditions,
free of charge. Most sites will provide information on terms or conditions
of use. It is recommended that you read them prior to using an image.
Common conditions often include phrases such as:
- image is not to be used for commercial purposes. Personal and/or educational
use is usually permitted.
- image is not to be redistributed, sold, added to an image collection
or published in tangible medium.
- image must not constitute a substantial portion of the content in
which it is used.
- many copyright holders will request (though not necessarily require)
credit and/or a link back to their site.
Copyright law regarding fair use of digital images is vague. Use of images
may fall under the protection of Fair
- If you are using an image for an on-campus, in-class presentation,
it may fall within fair use.
- If you are using an image in an online class, in a secure area, such
as D2L, for only one semester, it may fall within fair use.
- If you are using an image on an unsecure web page or in a PowerPoint
posted to the web, it probably doesn't fall within fair use.
See Fair Use
description (Purdue U.)
When in doubt, err on the side of caution. Do not use the image, or seek
permission from the copyright holder.
Content-bearing, non-trivial images should be cited. Different
citation styles have different rules for citing images.
Example for citing an image in a caption:
Description or title of image. [Online Image] Available http://address/filename,
date of document or download.
More on citing images:
More on finding and using images:
Distance Education Librarian
May 16, 2006