A Guide to Little-Known Image Collections with Millions of Free, Hi-Res Images

I’m often asked where to go to find high-quality and hi-resolution still images for reuse so I’ve put together this guide.  There have been several new image collections that have opened up to the public just within the past year that not many people are aware of yet, but they offer access to thousands, or in some cases millions of outstanding photographs that can be downloaded for free.  Here’s a quick guide to finding those collections.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Last month, the Metropolitan Museum of Art made over 400,000 images available for free download for non-commercial use as a part of its Open Access for Scholarly Content initiative.  These beautiful images include the treasures owned and displayed by the Met such as famous paintings, armor, statues, art objects, and more.  All images can be found on this website and are identified with the acronym OASC.

Wellcome Library

In January, The Wellcome Library in London made 100,000 art and medicine images available online for open use.  This collection is where to look for offbeat, bizarre photos including medical art of all types including manuscripts, paintings, etchings, early photography and advertisements.  The images here are absolutely fantastic.  The images may be used for commercial or personal purposes, with an acknowledgement of the original source (Wellcome Library, London).


Getty Open Content Images

Last summer, the J. Paul Getty Trust announced that they will be “making roughly 4,600 high-resolution images of the Museum’s collection free to use, modify, and publish for any purpose.” There are now 87,000+ images in that collection.  Images include paintings, manuscripts, drawings, photographs, and more and feature works by masters Rembrandt, Van Gough, David, and more. Open content images are identified with a “Download” link which can be found by clicking into the “Primary Title” link to access the full record.


LIFE Photo Archive

Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.  Images include famous personalities such as Marilyn Monroe, Charles Lindbergh, etc. as well as photos of American history and Americana.  You can browse the collection from here or add “source:life” to any Google image search and search only the LIFE photo archive. For example: computer source:life.  These are for personal, non-commercial use only.


Museum of New Zealand

The Museum of New Zealand has recently made over 30,000 images available for download and re-use in high resolution as a part of its Collections Online library.  It’s best to search this page after first checking the “with downloadable images” check box so that you only get results that are free for download.  Each image specifies its license, many of which are remixable and have no copyright associated with them at all.


NOAA Photo Library

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration makes thousands of stunning high resolution images available for download for free.  The photo library is organized into collections such as the National Weather Service Collection containing over 4,000 weather-related images, the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) Collection, the Fisheries Collection, and many more, see the full list of collections here.  The photos can be viewed by browsing the galleries or the catalogs for each collection.  It’s better to view the catalogs in all cases since not all images are included in the galleries.  Most NOAA photos and slides are in the public domain and CANNOT be copyrighted while a few photos are known to have copyright restrictions are so noted. Credit MUST be given to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce.



The National Archives and Records Administration offers a fantastic library of photographic images including photos of Churchill and Roosevelt, Nixon and Elvis, JFK and Jackie, World War II photos, and many many more historical photos.  You can find many of them through the above-linked online exhibits page, while others are available on their Flickr page,  and thousands more can be found within their Online Catalog.  All of the U.S. National Archives’ images that are part of The Flickr Commons are marked “no known copyright restrictions.” As for the rest of the site; “generally, materials produced by Federal agencies are in the public domain and may be reproduced without permission.”


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6 Free Platforms for Teaching Online



Have you thought about teaching an online course, or simply supplementing your face-to-face course with an online component?  Whether you’re considering sharing your expertise via a completely online course or creating a hybrid, you now have a universe of options available to you.  Educators will want to explore these platforms and all of the features they offer.


  1. Udemy
    This is a massive online teaching platform with over 2 million students worldwide and 13,000 courses.  It lets instructors design robust classes including video lectures, PowerPoint files, screencast videos, documents, audio files, text, and mashup videos.  The platform is completely free for instructors to create their courses which they may offer for free or for a fee.  If there is a fee involved, Udemy takes a percentage of that.  This is a very professional-looking platform that has a lot to offer.

  3. Odijoo
    Odijoo is a free e-learning platform which allows educators to create online courses or even set up their own private campus for training employees (campus seats must be purchased, however).  This online learning application enables instructors to design a classroom setting with group discussions, news postings, quizzes, modules, file hosting, and certificate creation.

Read the full post 6 Free Platforms for Teaching Online on OEDB.org.

Books on WordPress in Libraries

I’m considering switching our library’s website to WordPress in our next redesign so I’ve been doing a lot of research in that area. I recently acquired two fantastic books on how to use WordPress in libraries and I wanted to share my thoughts on these.


The Comparative Guide to WordPress in Libraries

by Amanda L. Goodman
ALA TechSource


This great new book just came out in January 2014 and is a concise primer on using WordPress in libraries. Goodman takes the time to introduce the reader to the software, discussing the pros and cons, the different choices available for hosting vs. self-hosting, and the competition. The first half of the book discusses all of the ins and outs of WordPress, defining terms such as themes, plugins, shortcodes, etc. I appreciated the discussion of the differences between pages and posts. The second 100 pages of the book consist of case studies of WordPress installations in all types of libraries including; academic, public, school media, government & law, special libraries, as well as archives and library associations. This book is an excellent introduction to all things WordPress and libraries.


Learning from Libraries that Use WordPress

by Kyle M.L. Jones and Polly-Alida Farrington
ALA Editions

This title is a clear and comprehensive guide to the use of WordPress in libraries. Although this book discusses how to get started with WordPress, it goes on to provide much more for advanced readers (including code snippets!) than most books on the topic. There’s a fantastic and detailed discussion of widgets and plugins with plenty of screenshots, advice on setting up a workflow structure for content creation through plugins, and even instructions for how to set up child themes! I loved the Guest Pieces section of the book which discussed using WordPress in non-traditional ways such as creating dynamic subject guides and digital archives. This is a must-read for any librarian setting up a WordPress site.

I would highly recommend reading both of these books if you’re getting started with WordPress as they each have great gems of wisdom to offer.

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10 Free Technologies for Law Libraries

I have an article in the latest issue of ILTA’s Peer-to-Peer Magazine titled 10 Free Technologies for Law Libraries!  In it I discuss many of the free and open source technologies I’ve implemented in my library.  Although the article was written with law libraries in mind, I think that most libraries and librarians would find these applications useful.  Please check it out if you have the interest, it begins on page 59.  Here’s just a snippet:

10 Free Technologies for Law Libraries

Law libraries continually face the challenge of making the most of their ever-shrinking budgets, while also progressively increasing efficiency and improving services. One way to keep that balance is to leverage free applications to improve internal operations, market library services and encourage staff collaboration. I’m a huge proponent of free and open-source technologies and have implemented many of them within my library at The New York Law Institute (NYLI). We’re making use of gratis applications for electronic resources management (ERM), a private intranet, library statistics tracking, email management and more! The use of cloud computing and application services really took off in 2013 — and when they’re free, can you afford to overlook them?

Zoho Creator is an online application that allows users to drag and drop database fields easily onto a blank form in order to build their own custom database applications, without any technical knowledge. Zoho offers an array of elements that can be added to databases, such as text and number fields, radio buttons, drop-down lists, checkboxes, multiple select fields, dates and notes.
At NYLI, we’re using a Zoho database that took about 15 minutes to create in order to track all of our library’s statistics, including librarian time spent on reference questions, patron electronic resource use, book loans, e-book loans, webinar attendance and document delivery.   Zoho allows us to create robust reports from our data — in either table or chart format — which we are able to provide to our members on-demand. The free plan enables you to build up to three databases and two reports and to keep 1,000 records. Beyond that, if you want to store historical records (rather than exporting them), their plans are reasonable, starting at $25 per month.  creator.zoho.com.

Continue Reading here.

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