Thanks for directing this question to me...hope the answer lives up to
(exceeds?) your expectations.
Here are the best links of the bunch. Although I originally said a
dozen or more, many of those I was thinking about turned out to be
cumbersome to use, and involved a lot of sorting between copyright and
So...the list here is a bit shorter, but I think you'll find a very
rich collection of useful images, just the same, all at no cost. Here
US National Archives image search:
check the box labeled: "Descriptions of Archival Materials linked to
enter search term of interest (e.g. a search on "patents" returns 65
images, "judge" returns over 100).
Note: you can also use the "Type of Archival Materials" menu to
select Photographs (to eliminate, e.g. images of written works).
Air Force photos for the taking:
Note the text on the site: "To the best of our knowledge, all Online
Library pictures are in the public domain and can therefore be freely
downloaded and used for any purpose without requesting permission."
More absolutely wonderful photos from NASA...sort of their "greatest hits":
Several hundred US Army images:
The Library of Congress has a very rich collection of images in the
public domain, but unfortunately, the site isn't all that easy to use.
You can search the "American Memory" collection here:
On the right hand side of the page, select "Photos and Prints" to
limit the results to pictures, and enter a term of interest in the
search box. You'll doubtless get lots of results, but you'll have to
click on the text description of each one to see if it works for you
as an image.
A good way around this cumbersome process is to use this trick. Head
to the search page for Google Images:
Conduct a search that looks like this:
(of course, you can substitute any other search term -- I just used
"technology" as an example).
The results can be seen here:
and include 81 images pertaining (more or less) to technology. I
particularly like this one:
You can use the same trick at other US government sites (some of them
do make use of a small number of copyrighted works, however, so you
need to exercise a bit of care in choosing your images). For
instance, there are more than 3000 images from the U.S. Senate at
www.senate.gov listed here:
with lots of busts, and portraits, and hearings, and other lawerly looking things.
You can try the same at out "lesser" house at:
OpenPhoto, a non-government site, has a collection of free-to-use
photos, variable quality, but some are very nice. Pictures in the
"Computers" and "Architecture" categories might be useful for you, and
-- useless, but worth mentioning -- they also have a category called
"Girls with Guns"!
Their site is here:
Details of the copyright license are here:
and allows free commercial use with attribution. OpenPhoto descirbes it this way:
Essentially, what the license says is that you may use these
photographs in the course of your work (commerical or non-commercial)
provided that you provide proper attribution with your derivative(s).
The value of providing these works via a Creative Commons license is
that the photographer recieves recognition for his or her art.
If you choose to steal our work we will bill you or your organization
for each violation of our policy.
Please note that if attribution is not suitable for your project, we
will consider an alternate license (See Section 6).
I hope this list will meet your needs. If you have any questions at
all, just post a Request for Clarification, and I'll be happy to
assist you further.
search strategy: Use of bookmarked sites in my collection.