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Images: Home

Guide to images in the public domain, images in SCU-subscribed databases, etc.

Quick Links

Images Overview

Images You Can Use

for Educational Purposes


Clockwise from left: Leonard Bernstein, Eagle nebula, Civil War, wind turbines, Congressounter


Santa Clara University Library has collected links and information on finding and using images for reports, presentations, and other educational purposes. This collection is by no means exhaustive and this guide is a work in progress.

IMPORTANT: Use of images is subject to U.S. copyright law. If an image is copyrighted, you must ask permission--and often pay--to use it with an accompanying credit line. That's the law! If an image is in the public domain and thus freely available to use, often it will say so and provide credit information.

If you are not sure if an image is public domain, contact the person or entity responsible for the image and ask permission for one-time educational use with an accompanying credit line. For more on copyright, see
U.S. Copyright Office FAQs 

An alternative to public domain images is to use images clearly marked with Creative Commons Licenses, which have varying levels of rights reserved. For more about Creative Commons, see Creative Commons Corporation.  

You may search specifically for Creative Commons licensed images on Flickr. Google's Advanced Image Search allows you to limit by usage rights.

Images, clockwise from upper left:

National Optical Astronomy Observatory/Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy/National Science Foundation: Inside the Eagle Nebula.

Library of Congress: Civil War, City Point, Virginia. Negro soldier guarding 12-pdr. Napoleon. (1857?)

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Photographic Information eXchange (PIX): wind turbine.

Wikimedia Commons: President George W. Bush State of the Union 2003, U.S. House of Representatives, joint session of Congress.

Library of Congress, American Memory: Leonard Bernstein conducts.

Creative Commons Images & Videos

An alternative to using images in the public domain, or claiming "fair use" of copyrighted images and video, is to use Creative Commons licensed images and videos.