Copyright Free Photos

Last week, I was reading the Library of Congress (LOC) blog when I came across a post that included a photo of an ice cream vendor in long ago Cuba.  What?  The image was free for public use.  I read the post closely and discovered that the LOC holdings online include a section titled “Free to Use and Reuse Sets.”  These images include photos, posters, drawings and postcards that are copyright free and available for public use.

There are photos to do with ice cream including this Tiffany lamp (see left), Thomas Jefferson’s recipe (hand written), and a link to The Book of Ices…

Not looking for anything this light-hearted?  No worries.  There are also photos of African-American Women Change Makers including images of Fannie Lou Hamer, Sojourner Truth (see right)  and a book of poetry by Phyllis Wheatley.

Other topics inclue World War I posters from various countries, Women’s History Month images, WPA images and presidential portraits.  When I popped open the page of World War I posters, I was surprised to see a poster printed in Hebrew.  The Women’s History Month images include a number of World War II photos of women doing various war time factory job.  I would love to have more of the context of some of these images.  I had to really think about this WPA poster. I mean, I know I lose it when someone folds down a page to mark their place in a book, but the WPA actually had a poster about it.

In addition to using these images in your work, you might also want to look through them when you need inspiration for a story, article or poem.  Take some time and see what the Library of Congress has avialable.




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