Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Secret of Finding Public Domain Pictures.

I love to look at pictures from the 1800s, especially if I need to describe scenes in a short story.  Every picture has so much life!  But how did I find them?

Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children.
Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California
You need to begin by understanding Public Domain, well if you can ever understand Public Domain (PD). 

There is on piece of the PD law that will garner us the best images.   Here is a tip where to find them:
Wikipedia: Works of the United States Government and various other governments are excluded from copyright law and may therefore be considered to be in the public domain in their respective countries. In the United States, when copyrighted material is enacted into the law, it enters the public domain.

Wait!  The 9/11 report is in the public domain? 
Images from NASA are in the public domain?
Best of all, the Library of Congress has a whole online division dedicated called Digital Collections!  Yes!  A whole division!

There are images from the Civil War, Great Depression, Historic Newspapers, and the list goes on all waiting for you.

This famous picture is just one of the thousands you can download, use for personal or commercial use, even a mashup!

Where to start with Government Images?

Here are two sites, the only two sites, that I use to find public domain government images:

U.S. Government Photos and Images is the perfect way to begin your search.

Of course the Library of Congress : Digital Collections is also fantastic.

Remember to always bookmark what you like!

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