There are many sources of free-to-use content available online. This page provides suggestions on where to look for such content, especially if used for non-commercial educational purposes. So whether you are a student creating a presentation, an academic developing teaching materials, or a researcher looking for Open Access articles there is plenty of content you can take advantage of without the need to obtain permission from the relevant copyright owner.
If you have any questions about finding free stuff online then email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wikimedia Commons is a media repository which hosts images, sound and video clips under a number of open licences.
The Creative Commons website has a facility to search across multiple sources for material labelled for re-use under a CC licence.
Everystockphoto searches millions of freely licensed photos
, from various sources and presents them in an integrated search.
Many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license; you can browse or search through content under each type of license.
VADS has a portfolio of visual art collections comprising over 100,000 images that are freely available for use in learning, teaching and research in the UK. See the full terms and conditions for further details.
The Artstor Digital Library is a non-profit resource that provides over 1.6 million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences. This database is available to staff and students as a subscription resource. No username and password for off-campus access. Use VPN or personal registration.
Photofunia is the best way to add a spark to your photos, make them special and more original. In only a few seconds an amazing photo collage is ready, absolutely free.
TinEye Labs search for Creative Commons images by colour.
Noun Project - Over a million curated icons, created by a global community
Iconmonstr - Discover nearly 4,000 free simple icons in 267 collections
OERs are learning materials of all types which can be used and reused freely by educators. The OER Handbook wiki has a compilation of links and information about OERs. Materials are also available in the OER Commons, and the Creative Commons website also provides information on Education / OER resources for you to use too.
The Jisc App Store also holds free resources, including some created here at the University of Manchester, which can be utilised for educational purposes, each with clear licensing information. You can search and explore, and recognise good content through ratings and reviews. If you have a resource you want to share with the rest of the community, you can also upload it to the store platform.
Creative Commons provides an alternative to conventional copyright protection. It allows people who create content to attach licences to their work, making it explicit that it can be re-used.
Creative Commons helps you publish your work online whilst letting others know exactly what they can and can't do with your work. With a Creative Commons licence, you keep the copyright but allow people to copy and distribute your work provided they give you credit, and only on the conditions you specify.
From the Creative Commons website you can search for materials that can be re-used without needing to request permission.
Open Access (OA) means that items of scholarly work are made available online, in a digital format, at no charge to the reader and with limited restrictions on re-use. Below is a list of resources which will help you discover and use OA works, for your research and/or teaching. For more information on Open Access visit our Understanding Open Access pages.
The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. The database contains over 3,800 fully open access, peer reviewed scholarly journals growing at a rate of one per day. The DOAJ can also be used to identify which journals would be most suitable for your publications.
Other useful resources:
Search Creative Commons: find open access Creative Commons licenced material to re-use.
This online resource is dedicated to copyright and digital cultural heritage. It is mainly aimed at archives and museums as it provides libraries, archives, museums with information and expert commentary on how copyright law affects the creation and management of digital cultural heritage. This resource is likely to be helpful for Special Collections users, and anyone who works in the field of Digital Humanities. "