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Finding Open Image Collections: Image & Music Use Guide

This guide is to assist you in better understanding the various license agreements available when accessing images on the internet. Here you will find information on licencing, how to cite images for your papers and presentations, as well as an ever-growi

How to use Google to find images

Did you know that most images on Google are protected by copyright?

How do we find images we can use for educational purposes without infringing copyright?

There are two ways we can approach finding images we can use for teaching and in assignments in google. 

1. We can do a regular Google search, then limit that search by Images, and then again by license type. 
Check out the video "Creative Commons Image Searching in Google" below to see an example of this method in action. 


2. We can go directly to Google's Advanced Image Search and build the license requirement right into the search. 
Go to "Google Advanced Image Search" below, for step-by-step instructions on how to use the advanced search. 

Filtering Google Images by License




Creative Commons Image Searching in Google

How to search google images for Creative Commons-licenced images. This video will show you how to filter your image search by license type. (note: the video shows more types available than what is current)

Google Advanced Image Search

To use Google's Advanced Image Search

1. Go to (or use the link above)

2. Enter your keywords and search terms in the Find images with... boxes

3. Scroll down to the bottom, to Usage Rights (just above the Search button)

4. Click the dropdown to select your license option

  • Creative Commons licenses: These images are usually available at no charge to use, but require credit. They may also have limitations on how, or in what context, you can use them. For example, an image’s license might state that you can’t modify it or use it for commercial purposes.
  • Commercial or other licenses: These images have non-Creative Commons licenses and can be from either sites available at no charge or commercial sites that require payment.


5. when you are ready, click Search.