Library of Congress public domain collection consists of numerous photographs, drawings and prints mainly from the 18th to the 20th century.
Works originate in the United States and all over the world: Germany, England, Japan, France, Israel, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Egypt, Puerto Rico. You can find the Middle Ages machinery studies, William Blake engravings, political cartoons, drawings of American presidents and world champion cyclists.
Please note, many of these works might still be in copyright in most of the European countries. Please be extra attentive when selecting content for creativity.
10th-16th Century Liturgical Chants (55 items)
America Singing: Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets (4,293 items)
American Revolution and Its Era: Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750 to 1789 (1,431 items)
Cambini Quintets (101 items)
Cartoon Prints, American (819 items)
Cartoon Prints, British (950 items)
Cities and Towns (~ 2000 out of 3,644 items)
Drawings (Master) (~ half out of 201 items)
Fine Prints (~ 1,000 out of 3,055 items)
Fine Prints: Japanese, pre-1915 (2,661 items)
General Maps (~ 2,000 out of 6,224 items)
Louisiana: European Explorations and the Louisiana Purchase (around 50 out of 81 items)
Mapping the National Parks (~ half out of 174 items)
Drawings (Documentary) (2,804 items)
Panoramic Maps (~ 1,000 out of 1,515 items)
Persian Language Rare Materials (172 items)
Popular Graphic Arts (~ 15,000 out of 17,614 items)
Posters: Artist Posters (~ 900 out of 4,363 items)
Tissandier Collection (423)
Not all digital scans in this collection are available openly. Openly available are only those digital scans where the original work is believed to be in the public domain in the U.S. Such images are available to be downloaded in high resolution.
Library of Congress does not charge permission fees for use of the digital scans. There is no separate open licence or open content policy.
More information by the provider:
Not all original works in this collection, which are under an open licence and available to download in high resolution, are in the public domain in the European countries.
This is because Library of Congress is in the U.S. and guided by the copyright law of the U.S. It applies open licence to digital scans where original works are believed to be in the public domain in the U.S.
How to find images which you can reuse in most of the European countries?
Focus on older content:
1. Go to ‘Gallery view’ and sort content according to date (oldest first)
2. Choose one of the collections and go to ‘Collection Items’
3. Choose date range until 1899
Search results you get are now more likely to be in the public domain in most of the European countries.
Now, after you limited results, check each image individually:
1. Go to the image page
2. Identify all the authors and contributors
3. Find the death date of the last living author
If the last living author has passed away more than 70 years ago, most likely, his/her works are in the public domain in most of the European countries.
However, if you intend to use images for commercial purposes you might want to do additional checks to assess any risk.
Please note, it is always your personal responsibility to make sure the original work is out of copyright in all countries where you distribute your new creative works. The supplier of the digital scan cannot guarantee this.
Go to the main page with all collection items (see section ‘How to find images?’).
Here you can refine your results by using the filter on the left side for:
When you are inside ‘Collection’, go to ‘Collection items’. Now you can refine your results using the filter on the left side:
Go to the main page with all collection items (see section ‘How to find images?’). Here and inside a collection, in ‘Collection images’, you can view the search results as a list, gallery, grid or slideshow. You can also sort results in various ways.
Go to the main page with all collection items (see section ‘How to find images?’). All images by default are part of thematic collections. Within collections you can also check ‘Articles and Essays’.
Go to the image page. Click on ‘Expand’ to view a full image or several images in a sequence.
Go to the image page, where you will find:
It also includes Rights & Access information (please note, copyright part is only applicable in the US). Also you will find various citation suggestions (automatically generated). Finally, you can find similar items.
1. Go to the image page.
2. Choose one of the options to download an image:
3. Press ‘Go’ (you can also download a b/w negative)
Artist name, Title, Date. Library of Congress, open content + a link
Share your new creative works using hashtags #RevivoStories#LibraryCongress @LibraryCongress!
Attribution guidelines are based on goodwill. They are not legally binding, but they are a secret way how to:
– Say ‘thank you’ to the most friendly for creators museums, archives and libraries.
– Encourage the release of new open collections for creativity.
– Inform and equip your fellow creators with new powers.