5 Best U.S. Government Public Domain Image Resources

A work of the United States federal government is not subject to copyright restrictions in the United States, meaning you are free to reproduce, modify, or display the work in the United States. There are literally thousands of free public domain digital images available on the internet created by U.S. federal employees as part of their official duties.

If you run a political or news based blog in the United States the following stock image resources are a must:

1.) The White House on Flickr

the white house on flickr offers many public domain images

Official White House photographs are made available for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use. Photos are constantly updated and include current events. This page is a #1 go to stock image resource if you blog about United States national politics.

Photographs may not be used in materials, advertisements, products, or promotions that in any way suggest approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

2.) Totally Free Images

The largest archive of totally free public domain images on the internet

The largest archive of totally free public domain images on the internet with more than 494,000 high-resolution, professional-grade, royalty-free images, Photographs featured here are 100% public-domain and acceptable for use with Wikipedia, many collected from government sources around the world. Some images may be subjected to international copyright restrictions.

3.) Library of Congress

The library of congress holds more than 15 million items, including photographs, prints, drawings and architectural and engineering designs

The library of congress holds more than 15 million items, including photographs, prints, drawings and architectural and engineering designs; more than 1 million of the items are available in digital form, many of which are ” title=”Library of Congress public domain”>under public domain.

4.) Uncle Sam Photos

Online directory of free photo galleries offered by the United States government

Online directory of free photo galleries offered by the United States government. This website admittedly has some design issues but it’s a great starting point when looking for free government photos.

5.) Google Image Custom Search

 Use the Google advanced search to find public domain photos

Use the Google advanced search feature as a last resort to return images from the site or domain “.gov,” many of these images are covered as U.S. government works.

About U.S. Government Works

It’s important to know that there are many exceptions to this rule including publicity or privacy rights that protect the interest of the person or people who may be the subject of the work. You may not use U.S. government trademarks or agency logos without permission, or use any U.S. government work in a way that implies endorsement by a U.S. government agency, official, or employee.

The U.S. government work designation doesn’t apply to works of state and local governments. Works of state and local governments may be protected by copyright. The U.S. government may assert copyright outside of the United States for U.S. government works.

Publication of an otherwise protected work by the U.S. government doesn’t put that work in the public domain. For example, government publications and documents may include copyrighted information or works from other sources.

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