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Image taken from page 93 of 'Jackson's New Illustrated Guide to Leeds and Environs', 1889.

Find this and over one million other copyright free images on the British Library Photostream

Copyright aware

Copyright Aware is a BBC website explaining what copyright is and gives guidance on how you can protect your own creative work and how to use other people's work legally.

Image databases

Free image websites

Even if an image is "free" it should still be acknowledged if you use it. A Harvard reference for an online image would look like this:

Norfolk, S. (2016) Oscar Niemeyer staircase [Online image]. Available from: <> [Accessed 24 July 2021].

You can find guidelines for referencing images and other sources on Skills for Learning.

A&A: Art and Architecture

A collection of approximately 40,000 images, plus over half a million links to other resources, from the Conway and Witt Libraries of the Courtauld Institute in London.

British Library Photostream

The British Library has uploaded over one million public domain scans from 17th-19th century books to Flickr. The images are maps, geological diagrams, illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and more scanned from 65,000 volumes held by the British Library and they can be used and adapted for any purpose.


Explore over 58 million digital resources, including artworks, artefacts, books, videos and sounds from across Europe’s leading galleries, libraries, archives and museums.

Getty Images Embed Tool

Getty Images is a photobank of stock images and photographs, made available for use in websites, blogs and social media platforms through their embed tool (only currently works when off-campus).

The Getty Open Content Program

The J. Paul Getty Trust makes freely available all digital images to which it holds the rights, or that are in the public domain, to be used for any purpose. Currently, there are more than 140,000 images.

Historic England Archive

Search over 1 million catalogue entries describing photographs, plans and drawings of England's buildings and historic sites, held in the Historic England Archive. If you tick 'Only records with online images' to view photographs dating from the 1850s to the present day.

Historic Illustrations of Art and Architecture

Images in the public domain that may be downloaded free of charge. A good resource for architectural plans and drawings from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.


A large online photograph collection, including art, architecture, industrial design, and textures. All images can be downloaded and used freely with copyright restrictions.


A photographic archive of Leeds with more than 60,000 digital images. The database is free to search but use of the photos is for personal use only and you cannot copy, publish or distribute the images in any way.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog

This collection include photographs, fine and popular prints, drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings. While international in scope, the focus is on materials produced in the US and content documenting its history. High-resolution images are available to download and the vast majority are copyright free.

National Trust Images

Free low resolution downloads of prints, painting, and photographs related to historic gardens and estates that are under the National Trust’s care.

OpenGlam Open Collections

A compilation of openly licensed image collections from several cultural institutions. All of those listed contain images that can be freely used without restriction.


The online image database of the RIBA British Architectural Library, the world's most extensive visual archive devoted to architecture. Includes photographs, drawings and engravings, covering world architecture of all periods together with related subjects such as landscape and design. You can browse the images or download them for educational purposes.

Audio visual materials in the Library

The Library has a collection of film, television and video games available to borrow.

To search the collection go to Discover and on the Advanced Search screen choose which format you would like the results to be, e.g. DVD video, sound recording, etc.

Video databases