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Online Curriculum Support

Free Images on the Web: Photos and Paintings

General Collections

Library of Congress American Memory(opens in new window) in new window)
CalPhotos has been on the web since 1995 and was one of the first online image databases specializing in natural history subjects.

Online Archive of California(opens in new window) (OAC) A core component of the California Digital Library(opens in new window), the OAC is a digital information resource that facilitates and provides access to materials such as manuscripts, photographs, and works of art held in libraries, museums, archives, and other institutions across California. The OAC is available to a broad spectrum of users -students, teachers, and researchers of all levels. Through the OAC, all have access to information previously available only to scholars who traveled to collection sites.
The OAC includes a single, searchable database of "finding aids" to primary sources and their digital facsimiles. Primary sources include letters, diaries, manuscripts, legal and financial records, photographs and other pictorial items, maps, architectural and engineering records, artwork, scientific logbooks, electronic records, sound recordings, oral histories artifacts and ephemera.

PicturesNOW(opens in new window) "A Visual Encyclopedia of FREE still and Video Images.Search and Browse through one of the Webs largest free collections of Images on nearly every popular subject."

ImageBase(opens in new window) "The ImageBase is a searchable image and text database of objects from the collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor). The collections (110,000+ objects)..." It is part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.(opens in new window) in new window) According to the site it is "...made up of 132549 images with 183 sections organized into 3640 categories. is the largest collection of free photographs on the Internet. (link back and attribution required)...."
My impression is that it is probably not so useful for educators. Photos of nature; transport (e.g) aircraft, airlines, rr); the UK; food and drink; Europe (9 countries); USA (10 states), ect. in new window) Site says more than 2,500 stock photos for free. Limited.

Free Stock in new window)
This offers photos for free use, with only a few small restrictions.
The site offers beautiful photos of these subjects: Animals,Christian, Egypt, Israel, Near East, Rome, Scenery, Sky, Weather, Wildflowers, Plants.

University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections(opens in new window) "a growing number of collections from the University of Washington Libraries and faculty in such diverse areas as the humanities, the natural sciences, and the regional cultures of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. The site includes the award-winning project American Indians of the Pacific Northwest.These collections are especially strong in Seattle history, architecture, labor and industry, the Klondike Gold Rush, and our natural environment. (italics are mine) Materials are primarily pictorial, although some have accompanying essays and texts. Other media are presented, such as newspapers, reports, pamphlets, posters, and maps. More formats will be added in the future. The emphasis of these collections is on rare and unique materials."

New York Public Library Digital Collections(opens in new window)

US Government Agencies

Wikipedia Link(opens in new window) of Govt Sources in new window)
A collection of US Government Science and Technology web sites

NARA(opens in new window) (National Archives and Records Administration) Take a look at the search tool for the National Archives "Digital Classroom(opens in new window)," for materials that can be used in the classroom. My impression is that this could be a great source for US history and for anthropology courses with its historical stock footage. Search the word "Custer" and see the classroom materials that you pull up. See also their audio-visual(opens in new window) page. You can also go to their homepage(opens in new window) to start your search. Try searching "Custer Photographs" and check look for "American West Photograph(opens in new window)s" in your search results.

NASA(opens in new window): in new window) Astronomy, Earth, Flight Vehicles and more.

NOAA:(opens in new window) (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration ) photolibrary:
"...the NOAA collection includes thousands of weather and space images, hundreds of images of our shores and coastal seas, and thousands of marine species images ranging from the great whales to the most minute plankton."

NPS(opens in new window): (The National Park Service) The park's Digital Photo Archive is hosted on Flickr

Smithsonian(opens in new window) Photo and Image Collections

USDA(opens in new window): (United States Department of Agriculture)

USDoD(opens in new window): (US Department of Defense) Images/multimedia(opens in new window), photo-gallery(opens in new window)

USFWS(opens in new window): (US Fish and Wildlife Service) Images(opens in new window)

USGS:(opens in new window) (U.S. Geological Survey) USGS Image Collections (opens in new window)

US Department of the Interior(opens in new window) Photo Galleries
Includes: USFWS, USGS, Bureau of Reclamation, NPS
Instragram Search(opens in new window)

A list of Federal agencies(opens in new window) you may want to check:

Is there a Federal agency related to your discipline? Most of the work created by the US government is in the public domain, so look for federal agencies related to your subject for potential free materials.

You are responsible for obeying copyright laws and any conditions stated on the sites that you access.