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When asking our students to create projects or assignments that utilize images, it is really important that we educate them about plagiarism and licensing. I have read more stories than I can count about people getting into trouble for using images out of copyright, and using public domain images is an easy way of skirting the entire issue. The beauty of public domain resources is that you can safely use them in your classroom and online without worrying about breaking copyrights.

Here are 6 places to find free, public domain images online:

  1. Pixabay – over 65,000 quality public domain images browsable by category and searchable
    (the first row of results when you search for an image are from ShutterStock and NOT free, but the second row onwards are free – click here for a screenshot explanation)
  2. Public Domain Pictures – over 30,000 free images organized by category (to download, right-click on an image and select “Save As”)
  3. Wikimedia Commons – over 16 million freely usable media files, although some media files require the owner to be cited
  4. Public Domain Photos – 5,000 photos and 8,000 clip art images free for personal and commercial use
  5. Stock Xchng – royalty-free stock photo website with over 350.000 photos by more than 30.000 photographers
  6. Pics4Learning – over 20,000 images specifically organized for teachers and students
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5 thoughts on “6 Websites With Free Public Domain Images

  1. Hi Aditi,

    Thank you for the above links and all your posts. I am going to pass your name on to some conference colleagues this week.

    I have a question. When I searched for pictures in the first two links, Pixabay and Public Domain, I got pictures that had watermarks. The watermarks said Shutterstock. I just found I can join Shuterrstock and hopefully get the watermark removed. Is Pics4learning the only site you would suggest for student use?

    Thanks!
    Stephanie Ryall

    1. Great question Stephanie, and thanks for your kind words. On Pixabay, the first row of photos is from ShutterStock. Below that row are the actual free, Pixabay images. To save these images without dealing with downloads, just right-click and select “Save Image As…”

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you need more clarification 🙂

      1. Aha! I was trying to rush through things again! Thanks for your time and speedy response to my question.

        Take care!

        Stephanie

  2. Thanks for the list. I have heard of people getting in trouble for using images they didn’t have the right to use. And since I am building s website I figured it would be a good thing to learn about. There seem to be a lot of people that think royalty free means you can do anything with them, but there are different kinds of license type that allow or prohibit you from using the image for certain things. I found this article very helpful in explaining the types licenses and what they mean to you: http://www.coreldraw.com/us/pages/royalty-free-images/.

    Thanks again for sharing these websites.

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