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Image Archives

We’ve found numerous sources online of photographic images available for use in classes on K-12 photography, visual literacy, history, social studies, and related issues. As a matter of policy, we provide reference access only to those that publish material by permission of the authors with a license for educational usage, or else are public domain/copyright-free. Here are links to those:

  • Early in 2014, online stock-photo archive Getty Images announced that it had opened 35 million images to online publishers to use free of charge. presumably that would include use on school intranets and other educational “fair use” contexts. In return for inclusion of a footer with credit to Getty Images, they’ll removed the watermarks.
  • AD*ACCESS: advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. Five major themes: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II.
  • American Memory: Selected Civil War Photographs: This Library of Congress Web site offers over 1,100 Civil War photographs, many of which were either created or supervised by Mathew Brady.
  • ARS Image Gallery: The Agricultural Research Service of the USDA image gallery includes beautiful color images of animals, crops, fruits and vegetables, insects, and other subjects.
  • Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920 : 9,000 advertising images from Duke University.
  • Gimp-Savvy.com gives access to over 27,000 free photos and images. The images and photos found in this archive come from three main sources: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
  • NYPL Digital Gallery: The New York Public Library’s online collection.
  • Online University of Photography has an excellent list of links to collections of many kinds of photographs, including lantern slides, stereo views, and other works from the medium’s beginning through the present day.
  • Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress: One of the great accumulations of photographic images.
  • Smithsonian Photographic Services: Free downloads for educational use.
  • U.S. Air Force Official Website supplies illustrations and photographs of the United States Air Force. These images include historical photographs, images of memorials, operations, and people.
  • Visible Earth: NASA’s stockpile of images from outer space.
  • Wikimedia Commons: Photographs: Hundreds of old and new images available for free use.
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