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Key news sources

Other, more specialist news sources are available, particularly for historical research.

Image databases

Free image websites

Art UK

The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) and the BBC have put online the UK's entire collection of oil paintings in public ownership.

British Council Visual Arts Collection

The British Council's Visual Arts Collection is made up of artworks by British artists bought to demonstrate the very best in contemporary British practice in all medias, from painting and sculpture to printmaking, photography, installation and new media. 8,500 works of British art can be found on the website.

British Library Photostream

The British Library has uploaded 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.

British Museum

Online database of the British Museum's Collections, including more than 800,000 images.

Europeana Art

Europeana Art introduces you to artists and artworks from across Europe. Explore over 1 million paintings, drawings, prints and other artworks from European public and private archives, galleries and museums, ranging from ancient Roman sculpture to modern design.

Getty Images Embed Tool

Getty Images is a photobank of stock images and photographs, part of whose collection is being 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 available, without charge, all available 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 87,000 images from the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute available through the Open Content Program.

Google image search

Google analyses associated text, not just the file names or picture credits, so it is good at finding relevant images.

Indianapolis Museum of Art

Over 33,000 high-quality images available for viewing and high-res zooming capabilities, including 21,000 images available to download for personal, scholarly or commercial use.

LIFE Photo Archive

Search millions of photographs from the LIFE magazine's photo archive, from the 1750s to today. Images include famous personalities as well as photos of historical and cultureal events.

Metropolitan Museum

More than 400,000 high-resolution digital images of public domain works in the Museum’s world-renowned collection may be downloaded directly from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use—including in scholarly publications in any media—without permission from the Museum and without a fee. The number of available images will increase as new digital files are added on a regular basis.

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

Online collection of over 8,500 artists and 51,500 works from MOMA.

National Galleries Scotland

The National Galleries of Scotland have made their entire catalogue of approximately 95,000 objects and over 35,000 digitised images available to view online.

National Gallery

The entire National Gallery Collection of over 2,300 paintings online.

National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery provides free downloads of a large range of images from its collection for academic and non-commercial projects. Over 53,000 low-resolution images are available free of charge to non-commercial users and over 87,000 high-resolution images are also available free of charge for academic use.

Open F|S

Open F|S is the complete digitized collections of the Freer and Sackler Galleries and the Freer Study Collection. With more than 40,000 works being made available for high-resolution download you can explore the Smithsonian's museums of Asian art from anywhere in the world, whenever you like. Images can be used for all non-commercial purposes.


One of the world’s leading museums in Amsterdam has a ground-breaking new online presentation of 125,000 works in its collection.

Smithsonian Institution

Search over 8.6 million catalog records of museum objects, and library and archives materials. More than 1,200,000 of these records contain online images, video and sound files, electronic journals and other online resources.


Holds the national collection of British art from 1500 and of international modern art. All works can be found on this site.

The United States’ National Gallery of Art

An open access policy which provided online visitors the chance to download high resolution images of their collections which fall into the public domain: 22,988 images to date.

V&A Images

Here you can peruse 27,000 works and over 43,000 images from the V&A collections. These are provided free for educational use.

Visual Arts Data Service (VADS)

This is an important online resource for visual arts. It has built up a considerable portfolio of visual art collections comprising over 100,000 images. They are freely available and copyright cleared for use in teaching, learning and research.

Wellcome Images

Images on this site are freely available for download for personal, academic teaching or study use and it's great for social history, medical or scientific images.

Audio Visual


The Harvard School Law Library have created a really useful guide called Finding Public Domain & Creative Commons Images.