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How to find...: Images

Terms explained

Purchased images

Photos from these collections need to be purchased. They are rights-managed, and some may be royalty-free. Conditions for use vary among the databases, and should be checked.

Dos and Don'ts for dealing with images

Images are available from a variety of online sources. Websites containing images may be freely accessed, or may be accessed by subscription or password only, but that does not mean that the images can be freely used in print or online publications. They may be freely accessed, i.e. looked at, but in all cases, there are standard rules that cover the use of images.

  • Images available on the internet, whether freely available, purchased or via subscription databases, are still subject to copyright rules. Look on the database for rules governing the use of images on that database.
  • Freely available images on Flickr, Google or other similar websites may NOT be reproduced freely. Check the copyright statement accompanying each image as to whether or not permission and/or a fee is required for the use of that image.
  • Acknowledge the photographer in all photographs, whether purchased or not. Some photographers ask for specific ways in which they are attributed, and these instructions may be found next to each of the photos. 

Creative Commons (CC)

Creative Commons (CC) is a not for profit organization that helps the public to share creative content by providing free licences and tools to content creators. CC content (including images, music and artwork) may be shared and reused according to the CC licence applied.

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Free images

Photos from these collections can be downloaded free, but may be rights-managed instead of being royalty-free. The attribution requirements may vary, and are indicated in each database.