Images are pivotal to a good website – without them your site will be a wall of uninviting text.
Finding great images for your site is relatively easy as there are many, many sites out there that supply paid for and “free” images. Often though you either don’t have the cash, the desire to spend the cash or don’t want to have to add in attribution all the time.
That’s where Public Domain images come in. These rare gems have been handed out by the creator to the world at large. Mostly they are covered under a licence such as the Creative Commons CC0 licence which says:
You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
You can pretty much do anything with these images, though some sites do add extra terms such as not to be used for pornographic purposes, be sold on stock websites or not to claim ownership of the image. Nothing that will generally affect you in your day to day usage of the images.
There is a problem though, most public domain photos are crap! Honestly they often come across as badly taken holiday photos.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of some of the best public domain image sites available today.
The British Library uploaded over a million scans of old books and manuscripts, to make them freely available for the public. While not suitable for everything, there is such a wide range of content that something could be of use.