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The presence of a resource on this list does not guarantee that all or any of the images in it are in the public domain. You are still responsible for checking the copyright status of images before you submit them to Religion Wiki.

Wikimedia operated


Wikimedia Commons hosts only freely licensed images, sound files, and other media. With over 5.5 million uploaded files (Jan 2010) it is the largest free images only repository and it contains many public domain images. Media on commons can be used automatically on all Wikimedia projects just as if the media were uploaded to the projects directly. Commons is the primary repository of media for all Wikimedia projects.


Historical images

  • - Public Domain images of the History of the World. Also Natural History and Fancy letters suitable for school projects
  • Library of Congress American Memory site (Check copyright information for the separate items before deciding to use them!)
  • Images from The Newgate Calendar. Mostly crimes and criminals from the 18th century. Also other works at
  • Collection images scanned from various old books that are now in the public domain. Searchable. Used to be under
  • John Leech sketch archives 1841 until 1864 from Punch magazine The page states they are long out of copyright and that they are believed to be public domain.
  • Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library's online collection of digital images. Most will be {PD-art}. 90,000 images from rare books and manuscripts, search by keyword.
  • New York Public Library. Over 500,000 images scanned from books. Including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more. There is a per-image usage fee even for public domain images.
  • Images scanned from old books. States that images on the site are the works of artists who "...have been dead for over seventy years, which makes them part of the public domain in many countries". Searchable by keywords.
  • America As It Was - a huge resource for vintage postcards in the U.S., organized by state. Any postcard first published in the U.S. before 1978 without an explicit copyright notice is PD. Lots of photos, aerial views, and maps of many U.S. locations.
  • "The Secret Museum of Mankind" - collection of anthropological photographs published in a 1935 book without copyright. Scanned and released under a CC-NC license, but images should be public domain, at least in the US, since they are faithful reproductions of PD images. (Warning: strong 1930's racist P.O.V.)
  • - a very large free database of vintage greeting cards and postcards published in the U.S. Indexed. Organized by category.

Specific periods

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Visual arts

Note: Accurate photographs of two-dimensional visual artworks lack expressive content and are automatically in the public domain once the painting's copyright has expired (which it has in the US if it was published before 1923). All other copyright notices can safely be ignored.


Old photographs, photographers and their subjects

  • - Articles providing old photographs with sourced research as to their origins and history.
  • Vintage Pixels A collaborative database of found vintage photos. Free for use in amateur and commercial projects.


  • - Scanned-in books, maps, manuscripts, and historical documents; Public Domain; available in a number of formats including epub, kindle, and daisy; Searchable.
  • - Project of the Internet Archive to provide a web page for every book.
  • - Scanned-in books & historical documents. Keyword searchable. Great source for diagrams/illustrations. (not all public domain, many still in copyright) Books google believes are in the public domain are available for download as pdf.

Logos and flags

Postage stamps




General collections

If any page or image seems missing, replace in its URI with

Computer-generated public domain images

Public domain image meta-resources

Uncategorized links

U.S. Government sites

Search Engines

  • Wayback Machine Search 150 Billion web pages preserved by the Internet Archive.
  • Google Advanced Search Can be used to search for free licensed or PD works.
  • - Searching over 4.3 million public domain and creative commons photos including wikipedia and NASA. Free user accounts with drag and drop collections, and other features.
  • - Searches a hand picked collection of public domain-, free stock photo-, and photo community sites. Includes the ability to search by rights! (whether you need to give credit, ask permission or not)
  • - Searches one billion stock photos and video, including free images, public domain, creative commons, royalty-free and rights-managed.
  • - Searches public domain, and creative commons photos to use on your website.

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