Finding images

Tips and advice on finding images from open source collections.

The following may provide access to images that do not require permission to reuse and/or have a Creative Commons or other copyright licence:

Animal Diversity Web University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology. Includes Creative Commons licences but need to check copyright conditions of use for each image.
Aphis Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (US). Open to the public but anyone using the images needs to credit USDA APHIS and the photographer (if known), to make it clear that the image has open domain status. Includes search function.
Beef and Lamb NZ photo library

Free, high-resolution photos for media and public use.


Photographs and text in Bugblog are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons Search Offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations e.g. Flickr, Google Images, Open Clip Art Library, Pixabay. Do not assume that the results displayed in this search portal are under a Creative Commons license. You should always verify that the work is actually under a Creative Commons license by following the link.
David Hollander’s (University Photographer) Photographic Collections Staff access only - Internal access via Staff Hub
DigitalNZ Use the filters to refine search, e.g. Share, modify. You can verify licences by clicking on images.
Encyclopedia of Life  
Flickr via Creative Commons collection
Lincoln University Living Heritage Tikaka Tuku Iho Creative Commons licensed images of the online history of the university’s people, events, and community.

An archive of ‘free’ photos, by creatives for creatives

NatureWatch New Zealand Includes photographs with Creative Commons License, check each photograph to establish attribution and license.
Open Professionals Education Network Includes photo/image, video and audio/music search options.


All images used should be used with attribution, for example:

  • Attribution for images from the internet should ideally include: Organisation/Author, Year, URL e.g. Worksafe New Zealand, 2003.
  • Student work used within course books needs to have permission to use and should state: “used with author’s permission”
  • Image from David Hollander photographic collection:
    David Hollander, 2014.
  • Image taken from Wikimedia commons:
    Image by Simon Carey, 2012, licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licence.

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