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Journalism - Finding and Using Images, Maps, Video & Audio: Image and Map Collections

Tips & links to help with citing and locating media. Also contains resources for understanding copyright and fair use of media

Image Collections on the Web

Image Collections - Check the "terms of use" or "legal" statements on each website.

Images for Academic Use

There is an increasing trend on the part of museums to open their archives of public domain images and offer these images free for academic publications, provided they fit certain criteria such as a limited print run.

Free Images for Academic/Scholarly Use

Many institutions discount fees for academic publications, and fee-based image banks frequently have similar policies. Many image banks have reciprocal arrangements with non-US collections.

Fee-Based Image Banks

Some of the organizations listed below offer discounts for bulk orders and scholarly publications.

Stock Photos

Often generic images, stock photos may be free or licensed for less money than larger image banks.

Free for Educational Use

For Fee Photos

How Can I Use Images Found on the Web?

Images cannot be used, without permission from the vendor, for:

  • Open websites or projects posted on the open web
  • Commercial or for-profit projects or products
  • Faculty publications
  • Print media (brochures, flyers, posters, etc.) for public distribution

Always look for "Terms of Use," "Legal," or copyright statement on any database to make sure that your use is acceptable.


All commercially produced maps are covered by the copyright law. The name of the copyright holder and the word "copyright" or symbol "©" will usually be printed or displayed somewhere on the map. However, even if unauthorized copies without copyright identification are subsequently reproduced, copyright laws and penalties still apply.

Google's guidelines for using Google Maps and Google Earth images

Public Domain Maps published by U.S. government agencies, including U.S.G.S., U.S.D.A., N.O.S, N.O.A.A., and N.P.S. and the Census Bureau may be used with proper attibution.

The University of Texas' Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection - one of the largest collections of government and public domain digitized maps.

Tools for creating Images, Posters & Logos

  • SaleHoo's 20 Best free online logo makers
  • Canva - free tool for creating posters, logos, and other documents with images
  • Logojoy uses artificial intelligence to help design your logo
  • Ucraft
  • Logaster