Copyright Free Image Resources for History Classes

Photomontage - Composite of 16 different photo...

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This past week as my students began working on their latest project. I noticed many were having a hard time locating images to use that were not copyright protected. After reminding them to endure that they use images that are not copyright protected they hummed and hawwd and said that they could not find any images. So like most teachers I began looking up resources that they could use and began compiling a list for them.

As many of my readers know I have written on this topic before and you can read that post here.  16 Great Image Resources For Projects But as I looked at those resources they often did not provide students with historical images for a history class. So I went back through those resources and others and the following list provides better images for students to use in a history class. This is not an exhaustive list so if anyone knows of a site that would fit the bill please send me the link. In the meantime take a look at the following resources and let me know what you think.

Searchable Topic Specific

  • StockVault : Very well-known, and very good of course. Is searchable for specific images of places people and things.
  • DeviantArt : Another well-known site with images, photo and Photoshop brushes. This is a great searchable image website.
  • OpenStockPhotography : More than a million images. This is a great searchable image website with many different types of photos. Does have historical photos as well.
  • EveryStockPhoto : Nice site, nice content. This is a very good searchable image website with many historical photos.
  • MorgueFile : A site everyone should have in their bookmarks!. Has many historical photos.
  • Flickr : You already know it, right? Has many different photos on many different topics.
  • FreeRange : Another well known site. Great site with historical images.
  • FreeStockPhotos : Lots of great images and many historical photos.
  • BurningWell : Many images limited historical photos.
  • PhotoPin: Great Searchable website or images.
  • Pictoral America is a site focused on American History. This site has been created by the Library of Congress and has some great American History images.
  • Library of Congress on Flickr: Library of Congress on Flickr. Many different image collections on American history.

Historic Specific Photos

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16 Great Image Resources For Projects

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Image via CrunchBase

When ever I start a new project in class I warn students to be careful of copyright infringement. Students often have this idea that any image on the web is fair game for them to use in their projects.  So I then tell them don’t just grab images for your project off of Google images.  The response is always the same, “What I can’t use Google Images?” I then explain copyright infringement and that they must be very careful when using images from the web and pay close attention to the copyright information on the website that the image is hosted on.

Often times this explanation leaves students feeling as though they can not use any image of of the web and they usually respond with, “Where do I find that copyright information?” So I point out the usual locations of this information on various websites. Then comes the inevitable question, “What if I can not find this information on the website?” My usual response is if you are in doubt don’t use it.  This leaves students frustrated and lost when considering where to go to find images for their projects.  Often times I hear remarks like, “Well I don’t know where to look.” or “I just can’t find any images.”  So to combat this issue I have put together the following list of 15 great resources that students can find images for their projects relatively safely without breaking any copyright laws.

  1. MorgueFile As they state on their website “Free images for your inspiration, reference and use in your creative work, be it commercial or not!” Great collection of images.
  2. Stockvault– Another great resource but you will need to set up an account.
  3. Stock.XCHNG– Great site for general images. Boasts more than 300,000 images to choose from. Does require that you set up an account to use all the capabilities of this website.
  4. Image*After–This site has nice high resolution images on many different categories.
  5. Everystockphoto– This site has a great advanced search to look up images. This site does require that you set up an account to use all the capabilities of this website.
  6.–This site requires a link back tom their site for any image used. Good collection.
  7. FreeDigitalPhotos–Another great collection of images.  All high resolution photos must be purchased and to access advanced features of their website you must become s member. Its Free.
  8. FreeRange– This site has nice high resolution images on many different categories. This site does require that you set up an account to use all the capabilities of this website.
  9. Free Pixels– Another site with a good collection of images.
  10.–This site has some great images of cities from around the world.
  11. Pics4Learning– This site was designed for students to use in creating their projects.
  12. EduPic– Another site specifically designed for education.
  13. Classroom Clip Art– This site is also geared for education and has a great collection of images for student use in many different subjects.
  14. NEN Gallery– Has a great collections of images for students to use in their projects. This site has many different categories and is well organized.
  15. World Images– This site has a variety of images for educational purposes. It is affiliated with California State University.
  16. Ookaboo- This is a great resource that was brought to my attention by Larry Ferlazzo. Tons of images students can use under the creative commons license.
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