Open Educational Resources (OER): Public Domain Resources

This Research Guide will assist students and faculty in searching for open educational resources (OER).

Video You Can Use

Searching for Video

The resources listed below contain video files  that you may use in your projects. Public domain video files may be used without restriction, though providing attribution is a courtesy and reflects good academic practice. Video with a Creative Commons license may be used according to the permissions that come with the license. 

 

  • Moving Image Archive
    • This digital archive contains copyright protected, Creative Commons, and public domain video. Be sure to check the usage restrictions for each file.
  • NASA
    • NASA content -- images, audio, video, and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format -- generally are not copyrighted.
  • Pexels
    • Stock video with a license that allows commercial use and modifications. There are some limits to the license, found on their website.
  • Pixabay
    • Free images, vectors, illustrations, and videos are available on Pixabay which do not require attribution. The Pixabay license is not completely in the public domain, but users may alter the videos and even use them for commercial purposes.
  • The Public Domain Review
    • This is an online journal with collections of a variety of works in the public domain, including images, books, film, and audio.
  • Videvo
    • Free stock video footage and motion graphics for use in any project with no strings attached.
  • Vimeo
    • Many of the videos on Vimeo are released with a Creative Commons license.

Images You Can Use

Searching for Images

The resources listed below contain images that you may use in your projects. Public domain images may be used without restriction, though providing attribution is a courtesy and reflects good academic practice. Images with a Creative Commons license may be used according to the permissions that come with the license. 

 

  • Cleveland Museum of Art Open Access
    • More than 30,000 art images in the public domain or licensed Creative Commons Zero (CC0), meaning the work has been dedicated to the public domain.
  • Creative Commons Search
    • Search for Creative Commons licensed music, images, and media from several providers.
  • Flickr "The Commons"
    • These are images marked with a "No Known Copyright Restrictions" designation. When searching, make sure to use the search bar which indicates, "Search The Commons."
  • Library of Congress
    • LoC has assembled collections of public domain or copyright-cleared images from its vast digital image database.
  • The Met Open Access Artworks
    • "Enjoy more than 406,000 hi-res images of public domain works from the collection that can be downloaded, shared, and remixed without restriction."
  • NASA
    • NASA content -- images, audio, video, and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format -- generally are not copyrighted.
  • National Gallery of Art Images
    • More than 51,000 open access digital images are available for free download and use. The art in the open access collection are presumed in the public domain.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    • Though the images here are in the public domain, NOAA does require photo credit.
  • New York Public Library Digital Collections
    • When you search for an image in the NYPL collection, filter your results by "Show Only Public Domain."
  • The Noun Project
    • This site contains over two million icons, all licensed CC-BY.
  • Picryl
    • "PICRYL is the largest source for public domain images, documents, music, and videos."
  • Pixabay
    • Free images, vectors, illustrations, and videos are available on Pixabay which do not require attribution. The Pixabay license is not completely in the public domain, but users may alter the images and even use them for commercial purposes.
  • Unsplash
    • The license on Unsplash images is similar to that of a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. Attribution is not required but appreciated.
  • Wikimedia Commons
    • "A collection of 52,611,560 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute." Check each image, audio file, or video file for its copyright status or Creative Commons License.

Audio You Can Use

Searching for Audio

The resources listed below contain audio files and music that you may use in your projects. Public domain audio files may be used without restriction, though providing attribution is a courtesy and reflects good academic practice. Audio with a Creative Commons license may be used according to the permissions that come with the license. 

  • Bensound
  • ccMixter
    • Music on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons license. Permissions to use depend upon the type of CC license attached.
  • Creative Commons Search
    • Search for Creative Commons licensed music, images, and media from several providers.
  • Digital History: Historic Music
    • This is a collection of downloadable music from periods during American history.
  • Free Music Archive
    • "Every MP3 you discover on The Free Music Archive is pre-cleared for certain types of uses that would otherwise be prohibited by copyright laws that were not designed for the digital era." Music here is licensed with a variety of Creative Commons licenses.
  • Freesound
    • "Freesound is a collaborative database of Creative Commons Licensed sounds. Browse, download and share sounds."
  • Internet Archive
    • "Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more."
  • Musopen
    • Musopen works to "increase access to music education by providing free music recordings, sheet music, apps, and educational materials."
  • Opsound
    • "Opsound is a gift economy in action, an experiment in applying the model of free software to music. Musicians and sound artists are invited to add their work to the Opsound pool using a copyleft license developed by Creative Commons. Listeners are invited to download, share, remix, and reimagine."
  • Public Domain Music
    • A collection of performances of public domain works. The music files themselves are copyright protected, though noncommercial uses are permitted
  • The Public Domain Review
    • This is an online journal with collections of a variety of works in the public domain, including images, books, film, and audio.
  • UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive
    • University of California at Santa Barbara has recorded and archived cylinder recordings made from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The collection includes "popular songs, vaudeville acts, classica and operatic music, comedic monologues, ethnic and foreign recordings, speeches and readings."
  • YouTube: UnRoyalty.com
    • Royalty-free music for creators.
  • Zapsplat

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