By Polly

Please note that at the moment most of the links I’m posting are for vintage images – there are other images in the public domain and I’ll eventually add those sites, however for myself at the moment I’m more interested in posting links to vintage work!

The Commons on Flickr – how I never came across this until a ‘stumble upon’ search is beyond me! What a joy to behold. Not only do you have some of the biggest names in libraries, museums and galleries involved – but you have a wealth of resources that are a pleasure and joy to trawl through.
Personal favourites have to be the set of expressions on the National Media Museum’s page 🙂
The purpose of The Commons?:
“The key goals of The Commons on Flickr are to firstly show you hidden treasures in the world’s public photography archives, and secondly to show how your input and knowledge can help make these collections even richer.

You’re invited to help describe the photographs you discover in The Commons on Flickr, either by adding tags or leaving comments.*”

My favourites so far:
The Spirit Photographs of William Hope
Carte De Visites and Cabinet Photographs
Portraits of artists
North American Indian Photography of Edward Curtis
Early Modern Dance

Flickr Set by ArtbyChrysti – some wonderful free to use vintage images.  Mostly of people and the backs of postcards.

Antique Clip-art – free for small and medium images – some beautifully coloured Victorian images ranging from flowers to inspirational, transport to insects.

Old Book Illustrations – a wonderful resource of public domain scans from old books.  Also has a regularly changing ‘hi-resolution’ section for download.

History Picks – has some great vintage images in the public domain – they have a free section and a special offer for teachers also.

Reusable Art – This is an amazing site – stunning resources all FREE! The link is to the copyright agreements – suggests that you check the area in which you live.  Sound advice!

Art-e-zine – their page of vintage images and resources for artists

From Old Books – not always clear WHAT is in the PD and what aren’t – obviously you’ll have to search on your country’s usage agreements – however quite a comprehensive if not confusing list!

Meyer’s Ornament – some beautiful ornamental work – would make gorgeous brushes!

FithFath – Some interesting PD images of cars and cameras – cute book illustrations etc.  Great resource.

Images of American Political History – especially great for vintage text – uninspiring site but dig deep and ye shall find 🙂

Karen’s Whimsey – Awesome and comprehensive collection of images to use in your art.

US Federal Government Public Domain images – includes links to photographs of diseases, bacteria and photos by Ansel Adams !

Old Book Illustrations – Says what it does on the tin – gorgeous website that you can’t stop looking at.  Sign up for the newsletter too to get updates on what’s been added (hey – I need to do that! lol)

Grandma’s Graphics – a REAL grandma is behind this wonderful website – some wicked book illustrations here including the ubiquotus Tenniel!

altered souls – zip files of well-recognised line drawings – however they’re really beautiful

travel ephemera – gorgeous pages – check for copyright as not all images are owned by the website’s creator

Unsure about commercial use – contact the owner of the website first

Old Pictures – I’m not sure whether these are ‘free for commercial use’ however there is nothing saying they’re not!  I would personally contact the site manager and ask if you want to use an image.

Bellydance – I have a huge interest in the bellydance scene as a lot of my photographic work is with the community in the UK.  This is a wonderful resource of photographs – something that I’m trying to do for myself – collecting my own images of dancers!

5000 free stock photos – This says that it’s public domain – I hope it is!  There are some great cogs and such like.

Steampunk ahoy!

Steampunk ahoy!

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1 Response to “Images”


  1. 1 solace
    May 27, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Hey there! I was checking out your list and thought you might want to look at http://www.vintagepixels.com

    These pictures are available for commercial use unless the uploader has specified otherwise (but I don’t believe anyone has).


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