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Jul 26
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Free Images and Sound

A bank of images and sounds is incredibly helpful when you're pulling together a digital story -- and it's even better when it's free!

Content on the Internet has generally been created by and is owned by individuals and corporations. They own the copyrights, meaning that most creations are not free for the taking. Unfortunately, we all have gotten sloppy in how we use material gleaned from Internet searches -- it is, after all, so easy just to copy or download and incorporate into our own work. 

However, it is good practice to attribute all work that you use that is not your own. In the case where there is a clear copyright, you can try contacting that person or corporation to explain what your intended use is of the work to see if they will grant you permission to use. Generally most creators are fine with content used for educational purposes and will generally charge for commercial use. There are many sources for "free" content and we've listed just a few sources here. Even in using "free" content, you should attribute the content to the creator or the source wherever possible. Much of the content linked here is governed by the rules of Creative Commons licensing; for more, go here: https://creativecommons.org/

And if you see some photos that you like on the Internet, here are two sites where you can search for the creator and the copyrights:

Check out these resources for free images and sound. Some restrictions apply.


Search for Creative Commons and Copyright & Reusable Images

Google Advanced Search [see: Usage Rights]
Bing Search [see: License]

General Stock Sites

Government Sites


Clip Art & Icons

Museum Collections


See other image sites recommended for reuse or public domain.

LIBGuides with Joyce Valenza

Copyright free music

Sound Cloud

Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Sarah Gliech, 2016