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Open multimedia

On this page, we present a few lists of websites where you can find open multimedia, such as images, sound clips, and general videoclips. These materials are more for general use, such as use on presentation slides or in instructional videos, and are less useful for educational use on their own.

As an exception to that, we have also listed websites of museums of political institutions here as well, where often images or scans of old documents may be found, which certain fields could directly use as educational resources.

There are a number of points that may be relevant to you as you use this page to find relevant OER:

  • There are multiple lists, as we have tried to split the websites up by type of multimedia you can find on them, in order to simplify the searching process.
  • These lists are generally ordered based on usability, breadth, and perceived quality of the listed website, with likely more useful websites being listed first. However, this ordering is subjective, and therefore may not align with your experience of the listed websites.
  • Related, these lists are not compiled by subject experts in the specific field, the ordering cannot be used as indication of the quality of the specific OER found on these websites. We suggest using the evaluation criteria in our guide on searching for and evaluating OER to help you judge the quality of the OER found on or via these websites.
  • It may be that some listed websites provide resources that are not open, but only free, or require further login to fully access the listed resource. As much as possible, we'll try to indicate the general license information for the resources on each website, but we strongly recommend closely examining the license for any resource that you may wish to start using.

If you have found an interesting website or resource on or via this list, and you want to know how you could start using it, the OER support services are here to help. You can reach us at:

Important information regarding multimedia licenses

In addition to the more general disclaimers above, there are some additional points that are important to remember when using open multimedia:

  • Clearly staged photos of recognizable people or buildings may require addition permissions from the model or property owner (a model/property release) before being used. These releases are separate agreements from the photo license, so if a found photo features a model or recognizable building, check if these releases are included.
  • Many websites use their own types of license for their open images. These licenses are often very similar to CC0 or CC BY licenses, but may have a few additional clauses. Two types of clauses may be important for you to know:
    • Websites often do not want others to use their images on similar photo-sharing websites, or use them unaltered for commercial ventures where the image is the main reason people would buy something (i.e., putting an image on a mug or shirt, and then selling that mug or shirt for a profit). However, for educational purposes where images are included in presentations, this clause will likely not come into effect.
    • Websites often do allow (and encourage) modification of their photos, but they want this modification to be done in good taste. That is to say, free and open images should not be used, altered or placed in contexts in ways that make it seem that a person, company or brand is unjustly endorsed, defamed, or hurt. For educational purposes, this is something to keep in mind, especially as additional context given in class can become lost if you choose to openly share the modified image openly.

If you have questions about the license of an open multimedia resource, you can always send an email to ask for help at:

Open multimedia: images

The term images for the list is quite broadly defined. This includes, photos, vectors, drawings, clipart, slide templates, and more.

  • Open Peeps - CC0 license - repository of cartoony drawings of customizable characters
  • Openverse (formerly CC Search) - CC licensed or Public Domain - search engine for CC licensed or public domain images (and audio)
  • Flickr Creative Commons - CC licensed or Public Domain - millions of images with clear license information
  • UG Special Collections digital collections -  Public Domain and more - many images and scans of old (but also newer) unique documents in possession of the University of Groningen
  • EDUimages by All4Ed - CC BY-NC license - Images detailing education and educational practices with a clear license
  • SVG Silh - CC0 license - SVG (vector) graphics with a clear, open license, and  that can be color edited on the website
  • Reshot - Reshot free license (CC0-like) - many icons and vector drawings released with a very easy and clear license
  • Centre for Ageing Better image library - CC0 - photos of the elderly engaging with society and each other
  • Slide carnaval - CC BY - interesting slide designs for people looking to shake up their presentations
  • ClipSafari - CC0 - vectors and clipart made available under an easy license
  • Openclipart -  CC0 - clipart in the public domain
  • xkcd - CC BY-NC - famous (sciency) comics, often with humorous twist
  • Google Images - CC licensed content - by using tools > usage rights > Creative Commons licenses on the result page, you can find many openly licensed images
  • Undraw - Undraw free license - drawn vector illustrations with a clear license, color customizable on the website
  • Nappy - CC0 - photos featuring black and brown people that can be used to increase diversity in representation
  • Pxhere - CC0 - Stock photo website with clear CC0 license and clear metadata
  • Pexels - Pexels license - Easy to understand license, and the website is a staple in the field open images
  • Unsplash - Unsplash license - Easy license, and high quality photos and images
  • Pixabay - Pixabay license - Easy license, website has also videos, music and sound effects, which slightly hampers ease of use
  • Gratisography - Gratisography free license - website with whimsical photographs that can spark some interesting discussions
  • Worldmapper - CC BY-NC-SA (low quality maps) - website to create custom world maps altered based on data
  • Blush illustrations - Blush free license - tons of illustrations in many different styles for presentations
  • Stockvault - CC0, non-commercial, and commercial license - stock photo website with a large variety and easy to understand licenses
  • Pickupimage - Public Domain (CC0) - Very easy license, and tons of variety. Also has a built-in editor
  • Morguefile - Morguefile license for images - quick to browse and a lot of variety. The other types of multimedia are not free!
  • Piqsels - Public Domain (CC0) - large variety of pictures with easy license. Multiple photo size formats available for download
  • Pikwizard - Public Domain (CC0) and Pikwizard free license - lots of variety and easy license. Editing on website requires account
  • Picography - CC0 - smaller collection, but high quality and scenic shots with a very easy license
  • Health Education Assets Library (HEAL) - CC BY-NC-ND, but also other CC licenses - lots of medical images for educational use. Check the multiple institutions for different licenses
  • Affect the verb - CC BY - images (photos and illustrations) of BIPOC individuals with disabilities, useful for diversity and inclusion efforts in the medical sciences
  • Open Photo - CC BY-SA - Easy license and lots of variety. Photographs are often a little less professional in style
  • Lexica - CC BY for non-commercial Aperture images, CC0 for Stable Diffusion ones - a search engine and creation tool for AI images. Results often have a slightly futuristic, polished feel
  • BioImage Archive - CC0, but also other CC licenses - images and study information for tons of medical and biology images
  • Photos public domain- Public Domain (CC0) - Stockphoto style website with clear license.
  • Good Free Photos - Public domain (CC0) - Stockphoto style website with clear license.
  • 4free Photos - 4Free image license -Stockphoto style website. Be aware of the different license
  • Public Domain Clipart - Public Domain - Clipart sorted in categories. Public Domain status is unfortunately not guaranteed through CC0 license
  • Picnoi - CC BY - Website with a lot of photos of people from minoritized groups in multiple settings
  • Snappygoat - depends on resource - hosts a lot of images from other websites, so best used as collective search engine and check the "courtesy of" section for all information
  • Friendlystock - Friendlystock license - Clipart website with sets/bundles of images and an easy to understand license
  • The Greats - CC BY-NC-SA - illustrations in poster style format
  • Wikimedia Commons - CC licensed or Public Domain - multimedia repository where most Wikipedia images come from
  • Icon Archive - depends on set, but generally all open - sets of icons, including highly detailed, comical, and simplistic ones.
  • Dreamstime - CC0 and Royalty-free license - free photos require login, but the CC0 section has photos that can be directly downloaded
  • New Old Stock - Public Domain - old black and white photographs collected from Flickr Commons. License information is minimal unfortunately.
  • Burst - CC0 or Burst license - photos mostly aimed at being used in advertisements
  • Stable Diffusion - Images are own copyright, although restrictions apply - AI image creator, although a little slow at times
  • Hiclipart - open license (Non-commercial) - Clipart that can be searched with a color filter and minimum size requirements
  • Image Data Resource Open Microscopy - CC0 or CC BY - microscopy images from many studies
  • Photos For Class - depends on source - collection of images sourced from other image websites that can be used in the classroom
  • The Noun Project - CC licenses - well-known icons and vector website that also offers free options under CC licenses
  • ISO Republic - CC0 - stock images and videos with a clear and simple license
  • Turbo Photo - public domain - lots of photo with easy download, but license information is missing, and web connection may be unsafe
  • Art Images for College Teaching - CC0/Public Domain - Images of art and archaeology for teaching. Although mostly likely all in the public domain, there is no definitive clear for all images.
  • Europeana - Public Domain generally, though not all stated clearly - Art, images, films and book scans detailing the Europe's cultural heritage
  • Picjumbo - free license, similar to CC BY - Stock photo website with tons of quality photos, but slightly unclear license
  • Sketchfab - all CC licenses - 3d model website, interesting for more technical and creative courses
  • Gender Spectrum Collection - CC BY-NC-ND - Stock photo collection featuring trans and non-binary models. The license is unfortunately quite restrictive
  • StockSnap - CC0 - Stock photo website with public license. Be aware of the first images shown with a star: these are sponsored, paid content
  • Pixnio - Pixnio free license & CC0 - Stock photo website. First row of results is sponsored, paid content, so pay close attention
  • Images of Empowerment - CC BY-NC - Photo collection of women and their work in 12 countries.
  • New York Public Library - Public Domain, but check individual resources - Historical documents and photos in possession of the New York Public Library
  • Wellcome Collections - Public Domain and CC licenses - archive of old documents, photos, and scans from across the world
  • Realistic shots - CC0 - Wide variety of photos curated by an enthusiast. Website is quite barebones
  • Skuawk - CC0 - high quality photos sorted by category. Website misses a dedicated search function
  • Smithsonian Open Access - CC0/Public Domain - photos of pieces and documents that are part of the famous Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.
  • The Met Open Access Collection - CC0/Public Domain - almost half a million images of public domain artworks from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
  • Free Digital Photos - Free standard license (attribution) - Image website with photos, vectors, and illustrations and relatively simple license
  • Encyclopedia of Life - All CC licenses except ND ones - Tons of images of animals, including some information on them and the places they live. Likely most useful for biology and ecology courses
  • World Digital Library - Public Domain (but check each item) - Photos, book scans, but also some audio and film that are part of the Library of Congress of the United States. Broad, historical, and worldwide collection
  • Public Domain Pictures - CC0 - Stock photo website with many photos. Beware of sponsored content which costs money to use
  • Kaboompics - Kaboompic license - Stock photo website. Beware of sponsored content which costs money to us, and check the license for how to use.
  • Beeldbank Rijksdienst Cultureel Erfgoed - Public Domain, CC BY, and CC BY-SA - Collection of photos from the Dutch government. Some may be copyright protected, and license information is not always clear
  • Negative Space - CC0 - Stock photo website with many photos. License is clear, but also provides sponsored search results which cost money
  • Freepik - FreePik license (attribution) - Stock photo and video website, but has some advertisements and sponsored content, and uncommon, but clear license
  • Presentation Magazine - unclear, but free downloads available - Powerpoint slide templates. License information is missing, and some pages gives errors
  • UKBlackTech - CC BY - Small collection featuring people of color in tech. Good for representation purposes, although selection is limited
  • Stock media - CC BY - Stock images, but website connection is unsafe, and requires sign-up for full access
  • Getty Search Gateway - CC licensed or Public Domain (US) - Historical photos and scans of documents. License information is difficult to find
  • Duke Digital Repository - Public Domain (US), but some resources may differ - Digitized photographs, manuscripts, advertisements and texts. License info is a bit hidden, and website can be a little confusing
  • Artstor Public Collections - Some open, but also still copyrighted protected - Historical documents, illustrations, and photos. Open and copyright protected materials are unfortunately presented together
  • Pickpik - Pickpik license - Stock photo website. No clear download information, photos have been sorted by AI, which sometimes leads to weird results
  • Free Stock Photos - CC licenses - Stock photos and clipart illustrations. Website has unsafe connection and quite some ads
  • DesignersPics - Free license - Stock photo website. Website has unsafe connection and is a little slow
  • FreeImages - Content license (attribution) - Photos, illustrations, icons, vectors and clipart. Download is timed, so you cannot quickly get an image. License info is relatively unclear.
  • Folger Shakespeare library - CC BY-SA (and others) - Scans of works by Shakespeare and other theater-related documents. Difficult to search without a clear goal in mind
  • Open-i - depends on the image - Biomedical images. Quite slow, and no clear license information
  • Freestocks - CC0 - Photo site that is likely maintained by a single person. Limited scope, and many distracting ads
  • US Antarctic Program photo library - Public Domain and CC BY-NC-ND- Governmental database of photos from Antarctica. Specific topic, and the Cc license is quite restrictive for some of them
  • Canva - Pixabay, Pexels, Public Domain and free content license - Infographics, images, and photos. Requires login, and license is not very clear
  • Techniek Beeldbank - free (CC0) - Dutch website with photos and videos of people working in technical jobs and trades. License information is unclear
  • Image*After - Free license (CC0-like) - Images and textures site. Photos are not very professional. Unsafe connection however, and license is little light on the details
  • RGBstock - RGBstock license - Stockphoto website. Image license is little unclear, and need to register to download
  • Free3d - Personal use license - 3D models, but license is little unclear and implies limited usage rights
  • FreeJPG - CC BY, PD, and basic license (CC0-like) - Photo collection of varying quality. License is okay, but website has many intrusive ads
  • Freerange Stock - Equalicense (cc)-like) - Photo collection website. Many ads, and need login to download 
  • Vecteezy - Free license (CC BY-like) - Stock photos, vectors and videos. License is quite restrictive, with a max amount of uses per photo
  • Little visuals - CC0 - Collection of photos, but very limited in scope (single page). Easy license to understand however
  • StockFreeImages - Many different types with different options, some paid - Stockphoto website. Has some photos with links to other website on their page. Need to login to download, and licensing is pretty complex
  • Life of Pix - Unclear - Collection of photos by hobby photographers. Website is quite slow, and license information is missing

Open multimedia: audio

This list has websites that provide music, sound effects, and music scores.

  • Free Music public Domain - CC BY - Free music for videos and other educational projects. If you want to use it for business (non-educational) purposes, you need to pay. Built-in license generator
  • Free Music Archive (FMA) - CC licenses and public domain - Filter for open songs. Easy to search, but does requiring signing up
  • Youtube Audio Library (CC tracks) - CC BY - Lots of songs that can be directly used for Youtube videos, but also downloaded for use elsewhere
  • Josh Woodward Songs - CC BY - Collection of albums and songs in different styles. Easy license and clear website
  • Incompetech - CC BY - Songs by Kevin MacLeod, whose music has been used for years by Youtube creators. Website is quite heavy on the ads.
  • Mutopia project - Public Domain and CC licensed - Sheet music for many songs and instruments
  • Audionautix - CC BY - Find music by picking a mood, genre, and tempo. Website has some ads, but not too intrusive
  • Sampleswap - CC licenses - songs and music samples. Search is bit of a hassle, and login required for download.
  • World Hip Hop Beats - CC BY-NC-SA - Hip hop beats. Unfortunately has a built-in attribution at the start, which is a little jarring
  • International Music Score Library Project - Public Domain (Canada) and CC licenses - Music scores and recordings of classical music. Not all are guaranteed public domain, due to difference in copyright laws across the world
  • ccMixter - CC licenses - Songs, samples, and remixes with very easy licenses. Website is a little difficult to navigate due to the sheer amount of the collection
  • Danosongs Royalty Free Music - Non-commercial license - Collection of music by Dan-o, categorized per genre/instrument. License requires a good read before use.
  • Freesound - CC licenses - Sound effects. Need to login to download
  • Musopen - CC licensed or Public Domain - Music scores and recordings of classical music. Quite a few ads that make browsing difficult, and licenses are not directly stated
  • Bumpfoot - CC BY-NC-SA -  Techno and house beats, and ambient and IDM music. Website is a little sparse, and license is a little more tricky
  • LibriVox - Public Domain (US) - Audiobooks that you can use in class or for your own leisure. Have to consider if the book is in public domain in NL as well
  • BandCamp Creative Commons - all CC licensed - Popular platform, but the license information is sometimes unclear and also contains copyright protected materials
  • Purple Planet - Free license (attribution) - slightly confusing license terms, but interesting collection of music
  • BandCamp Royalty-free - Some CC licenses - Lots of music, but sometimes downloads are paywalled, so finding good, openly licensed materials can be tricky
  • PacDV free sound effects - Free license - Sound effects website with some ads and a distinct appearance, license information can be unclear
  • Public Domain Information Project - Public Domain - All music is public domain, but they sell audio files that are newer and thus not yet in the Public Domain. Better use as a search engine and sampling website
  • iBeat - CC BY-NC - Beats and samples. Website has ads and lots of dead links
  • Public Domain 4u - Public Domain - screen-filling ads, which makes browsing very difficult. No clear download on the website as well
  • Freesfx - Freesfx license - Login to download samples and sound effects, makes it difficult to use

Open multimedia: video

This list provides websites that host or search for stock footage and videos. For videotaped courses/lectures, please check our Open  course, courseware, and MOOC resources list.

  • Youtube - CC BY - Tons of materials that you can use in class, er easily embed in online learning environments (which is allowed). You can also filter for CC BY videos that you can reuse and alter.
  • Videvo - CC BY & Videvo attribution license - Stock footage website with easy licenses and easy searching
  • Videezy - Videezy standard license (attribution) - Stock footage website with easy license
  • Mazwai Free video clips - CC BY or Mazwai license (CC0-esque) - Hand picked selection of clips from Videvo, with easy license
  • MIT Blossoms - CC BY-NC-SA - Math and Science video lessons by MIT. Intended audience is high school, and therefore may be a little too easy for university students
  • Netflix educational documentaries - Youtube license + Netlfix educational permission - High quality videos from Netflix documentaries, but only free to use, not truly open
  • Open Video Project - Unclear - videos taken from mostly US governmental websites, but the copyright status is very unclear, as fair use is may not be applicable in the Dutch context
  • Vimeo - Public Domain or CC license - Crowd sourced videos make it difficult to ascertain the true copyright status
  • xstockvideo - Free license - Stock footage website, but with restrictive license such as limiting the use of the footage to only one work. Also, no preview of the videos available



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Subjects: Information Literacy, SmartCat, Systematic Review, OER