Finding Images for Your Website

Public Domain Images

The U.S. Government Photos and Images website maintains an extensive list of sources that provide public domain images (no copyright restrictions), or images that can be used specifically for educational and non-profit purposes. Topics include history, fine art, health and medicine, environment, science, technology, and more. Image sources include collections such as the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, National Institute of Health, and NASA, among many others.

Creative Commons Images

Images that use Creative Commons licensing have less restrictive copyrights. Creators often clear their images for use by others, provided that the image is correctly attributed. Images that use Creative Commons licenses can often be found on FlickrWikimedia Commons, and through Google searches. There are a variety of Creative Commons licenses, some with more restrictions than others. Be sure to adhere to the guidelines for the particular image you choose.

General Stock Photo Sources

Whenever possible, use images that are specific to your department and Harvard. If you cannot otherwise find or produce suitable images, there are numerous stock photo options available. Listed below are some of the more popular, affordable options. When choosing a stock image, always choose high-quality images that will truly help communicate your message. Avoid images that are distracting, as well as images that look staged or generic.

Specialty Stock Photo Sources

  • Corbis Images: documentary photography including travel, world culture, nature, technology, science, fine art, archival images, as well as general stock images
  • Getty Images: photos from U.S. and world news events, as well as general stock images
  • Custom Medical Stock Photo: medical, scientific, surgical, forensic and health care photos
  • Science Source: physical, life and natural sciences, biomedical photography and illustrations

Updated: 11Jan18