Public Domain Images Online

Give credit. Pay nothing.

Posts Tagged ‘public domain’


Posted by Laurie Frost on October 22, 2013

Getting ready for Halloween? Here’s some images from the Library of Congress.

The first is by Dr. Alice S. Kandell, who donated her Collection of Sikkim Photographs to the Library of Congress and placed them in the public domain.

30193r.jpg (640×434)

Deity and skeleton masks, Gangtok, Sikkim, by Alice Kandell. LC-KAN05- 0094.


Frances Benjamin Johnston shot this picture in the mid-1930s of an Indian burial ground near what was believed to be the site of the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, Florida.


Here’s a view of a corridor in the Cappuccino Catacombs, Rome, Italy, in August 1987.

Corridor in the Cappuccino Catacombs, Rome, Italy


Why not some animal skeletons, starting with this interpretation of a dinosaur skeleton leashed to a man-like skelton somewhere near Murdo, South Dakota, photographed by Carol Highsmith in 2009?

04579r.jpg (640×427)



This is just one in a series of pictures of horse skeletons in motion.

Skeleton of horse. Running. Off the ground


Eadweard Muybridge created The attitudes of animals in motion : a series of photographs illustrating the consecutive positions assumed by animals in performing various movements in Palo Alto, California, in 1878 and 1879; the album was published in 1881.

Posted in Historical, Library of Congress, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Flickr Commons: Royal Library, Denmark

Posted by Laurie Frost on March 9, 2012

Next up from the Flickr Commons are some public domain images courtesy of the Royal Library, Denmark. One of the three sets in its photostream contains images by photographer Sven Türck (1897-1954) from the 1930s and 1940s. When Türck died, The Royal Library acquired much of his work.

Romantik [Romance]

Cyklende på Strøget [Riding a bike]

Rådhuspladsen [Copenhagen town hall square]

Mand og kvinde om bord på færge [Man and woman on a ferry]

Mand og kvinde om bord på færge


Posted in Flickr Commons, Places | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Flickr Commons: Royal Library, Denmark


Posted by Laurie Frost on September 18, 2011

Fall football images from the Library of Congress, leading off with two by Carol Highsmith:

Head coach Gene Chizik leads the Auburn Tigers football team onto the football stadium for the 2010 Auburn-South Carolina game, Auburn, Alabama. LC-DIG-highsm-11541

And if I have a shot of Auburn University, I need one of the University of Alabama, as well:

University of Alabama football game, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. LC-DIG-highsm-06883

Football and cars seem to have always gone together. This picture was taken in 1939 by Marion Post Wolcott:

Cars parked along the highways on day of Duke-Carolina football game, near Duke University Stadium. LC-USF34-052649-D

Who would think this a picture taken in the stands at a football game?

Ethel Roosevelt, in stands at football game. LC-DIG-ggbain-03024

I can’t decide if this looks like fun or just stupid:

Washington Redskins start training. Washington, D.C. Aug. 28. He-man exercise took the place of calisthenics today as the Redskins, Washington's entry in National Professional Football League, started training. The boys "flying thru the air" are, left to right: Millner (Notre Dame), Rentner (Northwestern) and Peterson (West Virginia) Wesleyan) 8/28/37. LC-DIG-hec-23282

Nothing much has changed since Frank A. Nankivell drew this illustration for the cover of the November 14, 1906 Puck magazine of  “the sun wearing a football helmet, beaming rays onto a football shaped planet that shows a stadium with fans in the grandstands and a football game in progress; also shows, in the background, an outline of a young woman’s head.”

The college world. LC-DIG-ppmsca-26112

Posted in Carol Highsmith, Library of Congress, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Louisiana’s Wildlife Refuges Before the BP Oil Assault

Posted by Laurie Frost on May 25, 2010

Deepwater Horizon 24Hr Trajectory Map Icon 2010-05-24-2000A good source of information about the areas in Louisiana where the BP oil spill has reached is the US Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS]. They have links to NOAA’s Emergency Response pages, which include PDF maps released daily showing the spread of the spill. To the right is a photo of one of these, not much use in itself, but if you go to this NOAA page, you’ll be able to download the PDF. There are some pictures at these sites of what is happening, but what I have today are images of what is being lost at a few of the 32 refuges FWS manages. 

The brown pelicans of Breton Refuge suffered from the natural disasters of Tropical Storm Arlene and Hurricane Katrina in 2005; what progress had been made in re-establishing their populations will likely be entirely lost by this manmade disaster.

Young brown pelican in nest. Breton National Wildlife Refuge. FWS photo by Donna Dewhurst. Item ID SL-03554

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Animals, Fish and Wildlife Service, Places, Plants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Louisiana’s Wildlife Refuges Before the BP Oil Assault

Photographic Legacy of New Deal Stimulus Plan, or Images from the Farm Security Administration

Posted by Laurie Frost on June 2, 2009

Have you ever heard of the Farm Security Administration (FSA)? I expect not, but this was a New Deal Department of Agriculture agency that made loans to small farmers. It also had an Information Division that employed 22 photographers to go cross country documenting the people and places of what we now call the Great Depression.

In the US, works created on the job by government employees are in the public domain.

And that is why two of the most widely recognized photographs of the twentieth century are designated as “no known restrictions on publication” at the Library of Congress. Note, however, that there are also laws pertaining to publicity and privacy.

I haven’t yet (but I will) researched whether the family of Florence Thompson has objected to any uses of her picture, but I am not doing so for profit, and so I decided to include it here. Photographer Dorothea Lange titled the portrait “Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California”; it has become known as “Migrant Mother.”   [Credit:  LC-DIG-fsa-8b29516]


Here’s a curiosity, the type of thing you discover at the Library of Congress. “Migrant Mother” was retouched to remove a thumb on the tent pole in the original. Look at the right corner of this unretouched negative [credit: LC-USZ62-95653]:


Here’s Dorothea Lange on the road in California in 1936. [LC-DIG-fsa-8b27245]


Another FSA photographer, Arthur Rothstein, shot this iconic image in 1936, “Farmer and sons walking in the face of a dust storm. Cimarron County, Oklahoma.”   [LC-DIG-ppmsc-00241 1936]


Walker Evans was also an FSA photographer. In 1941 he and the playwright  James Agee published Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, an impressionistic chronicle of the weeks they spent documenting the lives of three families of Alabama sharecroppers.

Here are two of Evans’s photos, “Church interior, Alabama or Tennessee” [LC-USF342-8285A ] and “Crossroads store, Sprott, Alabama. 1935 or 1936″ [LC-DIG-ppmsc-00243].



Most of the pictures in the FSA collection document desperate poverty.  However unpalatable the effects of today’s downturn in the economy, they in no way compare to those of the 1930s. Here are some reminders, starting with Russell Lee’s February 1939 ″Interior of tent of white migrant family near Edinburg, Texas. Bed is on the floor. Tent was made of patched cotton materials of various sorts. The man said he had worked in a cotton mill in Dallas, Texas, and had obtained the materials then”  [LC-USF34-032320-D] and “Sick child in bed in trailer home. Sebastian, Texas” [credit: LC-USF34-032325-D]. 



Jack Delano shot this portrait, “Children of a WPA (Work Projects Administration) worker’s family near Siloam, Greene County, Georgia” in June 1941 [LC-USF34-044507-D]:

FSA photographer Marion Post Wolcott’s photograph “Home of old and sick mine foreman and WPA (Works Progress Administration) worker and their families, Charleston, West Virginia” was taken in 1938 [LC-USF33-030089-M5].

Then there are other images, stunning for entirely different reasons, such as Delano’s 1943 “Model airplanes decorate the ceiling of the train concourses at Union Station [Chicago]” [LC-USW3-T01-015950-D]:


Also from 1943,  “Washington, D.C. Field trips for the “flying nun” pre-flight class, including inspection tours of hangars at the Washington National Airport. Here, Sister Aquinas is explaining engine structure to her students” by Ann Rosener [credit: LC-USW3-031400-D].00249r

You can see many more at the Library of Congress. They explain it best:

The photographs in the Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection form an extensive pictorial record of American life between 1935 and 1944. This U.S. government photography project was headed for most of its existence by Roy E. Stryker, who guided the effort in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937), the Farm Security Administration (1937-1942), and the Office of War Information (1942-1944). The collection also includes photographs acquired from other governmental and non-governmental sources, including the News Bureau at the Offices of Emergency Management (OEM), various branches of the military, and industrial corporations. In total, the black-and-white portion of the collection consists of about 171,000 black-and-white film negatives, encompassing both negatives that were printed for FSA-OWI use and those that were not printed at the time (use the “Display Images with Neighboring Call Numbers” link on the catalog records to see these uncaptioned images). Color transparencies also made by the FSA/OWI are available in a separate section of the catalog: FSA/OWI Color Photographs

The complete collection of FSA/OWI photographs — 171,000 black-and-white images and 1,602 color images — are available on the Library of Congress website at

Posted in Dorothea Lange, Farm Security Administration, Historical, Library of Congress, People, WPA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »