Skip to main content

Immersion Program for Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate Students: OpenWeb

A guide to resources

Image Search Engines

Google Images is a quick and easy way to find lots of images from web pages across the globe. But it only searches web content that it can find -- many images are actually hidden in databases or archives (whether freely available or in Cornell's subscription databases). The quality of images - size, resolution, description, usage rights - also varies considerably on the open web. Use Google, but don't rely on it for all image searches. Explore this page and Cornell's image databases for more high-quality options.

Flickr - a large database of images

Flickr is a public photo-sharing site with billions of images. It is a rich resource to find images for your research (news events, places, people, etc.). Flickr users can opt to share their images with others under creative commons licenses (alternative to copyright).

Freely Usable Images - Resources

Be sure to follow license conditions and terms of use.

Digital Collections

The following digital collections provide access to a variety of images in the public domain and under copyright. Please check the terms of use and image rights statements for more information.

This is a selected list. For a more extensive list, see Digital Images Collection Guide by subject. To check if Cornell subscribes to a resource, use the Classic Catalog.

Flickr - a large database of images

You may know Flickr as a public photo-sharing site with billions of images. In recent years, many archival image repositories (including the Cornell University Library) share their copyright-free images via Flickr Commons, which has become a major image resource.

U.S. Government Images

NYPL Digital Gallery

Library, Cornell University, I... Digital ID: 74626. New York Public Library

Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y., ca. 1910.
Source: New York Public Library