Free Images: Smithsonian Open Access

Looking for some free images for your website? Smithsonian Open Access allows you to download, share, and reuse millions of images – free.

Images lend interest to your website, but it’s not always easy to know where you can find great images you’re allowed to use.

Smithsonian Open Access allows you to access and use images from the Smithsonian’s museums, research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo. Before you use an image, make sure it has the “CC0” designation, which allows you to use it freely without attribution or fees.

From the Smithsonian website:

With Smithsonian Open Access, we’re increasing the public’s ability to use millions of digital assets—2D and 3D images and data. Open Access items carry what’s called a CC0 designation. This means the Smithsonian dedicates the digital asset into the public domain, meaning it is free of copyright restrictions and you can use it for any purpose, free of charge, without further permission from the Smithsonian. As new images are digitized, if they are determined to be copyright-free, the Smithsonian will dedicate them as CC0 ongoing.

Be sure to read and understand the Terms of Use and learn more about Open Access, then start creating!

free images resource: Smithsonian Open Access


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Alisa Cognard

Alisa was one of the first team members to join Red Earth Design, Inc. in early 2004. From data entry, she progressed to MySQL database manipulation and PHP coding. Alisa is responsible for all kinds of odds and ends: installing new websites, adding features to them, programming databases, PHP coding, website troubleshooting, website security, and organizational tasks for Red Earth Design.

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