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Finding Images: Google/Flickr Image Search

How to find free images online for your academic and personal purposes.

Searching for Images on the Web

Not all images found on Google are in the public domain, or Creative Commons-licensed for educational and personal use. Start with the Google Image Search page and use the Search tools box to get to the “Usage rights” drop-down menu. This will allow results to be limited to those that can be reused and/or modified.

Once you have found an image for your project, double-check for licensing information to make sure it can be reused.

Below are examples of images from the Creative Commons that can be copied, transmitted and modified with proper attribution to the work creator.

Image with Creative Commons License

Image in the Public Domain

This is an example of an image in the Public Domain, where the copyright has either expired or been waived by the copyright holder.

Flickr Commons is loaded with images in the public domain. These images are made available by libraries, museums and archives around the world, like the Internet Archive, the UBC Digitization Centre and the Smithsonian Institute.

To search for public domain images on Flickr Commons, scroll down to the middle of the page and use the “Search the Commons” search box.

Once you have found an image, the copyright info is at the bottom right.

From the Any License menu, choose “All creative commons.”

Once you have chosen your image, you can confirm the copyright information.

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