Samuel Vince reading in his rooms at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, by the light of a shaded lamp, c.1784
Via Wikimedia Commons
AusArts Student Manual

(Status : Public)
Coordinated by AusArts
  • Resources

    Below, we have provided a list of organisations that provide open-access, public domain materials, and other resources. Please attribute the source of any material that you reproduce from these locations. Note that some of these organisations will place restrictions on some of their materials: check the reproduction restrictions carefully.

    • ABC Open Archives: a selection of photographs, audio recordings, and audiovisual items, released from the ABC archives and made available via Flickr and Wikimedia Commons. The conditions of use may vary depending on the nature of the material, copyright status, and source, so make sure you check the conditions attached to each work.
    • Australian Variety Theatre Archives. A repository of materials about Australian popular theatre and entertainments between 1850 and 1930. Includes images and full text, as well as biographical information.
    • The Commons. The Commons is a collaboration of various institutions (including Australian libraries and archives) which aims to increase access to publicly-held photography collections, and provide a way for the general public to contribute information and knowledge. All photos in The Commons have no known copyright restrictions. Reproduction rights on the images vary: check the specific image for details.
    • Digital Public Library of America: dedicated to exposing the contents of American archives and libraries and making them public, the Digital Public Library of America is a rich source of primary sources. (And it's not only limited to information about America: a simple search for 'Australia' in June 2016 brought up nearly 500 results.)
    • Illustration Archive: a research outcome from Cardiff University, this is a fully searchable database of over a million illustrations from works of literature, philosophy, history and geography, chosen from the British Library’s collection. All illustrations that have been reproduced in the Illustration Archive are from books that the British Library has declared in the public domain, and therefore free of copyright restrictions.
    • Internet Archive: a non-profit library of (among other resources) books, movies, software, music, and websites. The Internet Archive is divided into pre-determined categories, such as 'Old time Radio' or 'Television Archive', but you can also perform your own targeted searches.
    • LIFE photos: digitised in association with Google, this is an enormous collection of photographs from the archives of LIFE magazine. The images are for personal, non-commercial use only.
    • The Metropolitan Museum of Art: one of the world's great galleries, The Met is committed to making a broad range of digital images of artworks in the public domain widely and freely available for scholarly and academic publication. Works that are included in this collection are tagged with an Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) logo. The Met is in New York; the content is international.
    • Museum of New Zealand: over 30,000 high-resolution images. Each image specifies its license: many are remixable and have no copyright associated with them at all.
    • NASA: most NASA images are public domain, so this is the go-to source for high-quality space imagery.
    • National Archives and Records Administration [USA]: some images from this collection are included in The Commons (above), but this is the entire collection: under US law, most images produced by Federal agencies are in the public domain, so this is an excellent source of historical photographs, albeit with a strong American focus.
    • PANDORA: the PANDORA archive, established in 1996, is a collection of Australian online publications. PANDORA records websites, ejournals, and the like, including ones that are no longer active.
    • Papers Past: an archive of digitised New Zealand newspapers.
    • PAW Media (Pintubi Anmatjere Warlpiri Media and Communications). PAW Media produce audio-visual texts, in language and according to local cultural protocols, in the Aboriginal community of Yuendumu. The company is run for profit, but also hosts an extraordinary amount of content on its own website (including radio, animation, and video), which can be embedded and shared with due acknowledgement.
    • SoundCloud. A social 'sound platform', SoundCloud provides access to a wide range of audio material. Although restrictions on sharing do vary, SoundCloud is a useful resource for audio material from archives and institutions. For example, the National Film and Sound Archive has a SoundCloud page.
    • Trove. Run by the National Library of Australia, Trove is a gateway resource for finding books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives, and other material. We strongly recommend the historic newspapers as a source of material for researchers.
    • United States Department of Agriculture: looking for some high-resolution images of baby chickens or barns? This is the place. The collection is relatively modest (c.2000 images), but they are copyright free and in the public domain.
    • Wellcome Library: a collection of some 100,000 images, available online for open use. Wellcome is a medical institute, and the images have a particular focus on medical art of all types including manuscripts, paintings, etchings, early photography and advertisements.
    • Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons makes available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips). It is an excellent source of visual material.