Finding images

There are many ways to find images to use in your lectures and teaching resources.

Remember, you can use most images already in electronic format for educational purposes without additional checks on the copyright status.

See What images and diagrams can I use in teaching resources? for more details.

Take care when using images uploaded to sites such as YouTube and Flickr by individuals. Images may have been uploaded to these sites without the permission of the copyright owners. It can be difficult to tell if this has happened and the source you cite may not actually be the legitimate copyright owner.


Some sites require you to agree to particular terms or conditions or to pay for use of the images before you can download usable copies without a watermark. These use conditions may override Australian copyright law.


Many people load photos and images on public web sites under licences that facilitate sharing of resources, such as Creative Commons licences. The Creative Commons Organisation explains the different types of licences that can be used by creators and what that means for you, as a user of the images.

While some creators may not require attribution under a Creative Commons licence, remember it is University policy that all images, diagrams and photos uploaded to Learning Management Systems must be accompanied by a citation.

It is your responsibility to acknowledge the creator and source of any images you use and to abide by the conditions of any agreements you accept.

Sources of images

Image search engines

  • Google image search - take advantage of the usage rights filters on the Advanced Search and Advanced Image Search pages to find web content (such as text, videos, or images) you can reuse, share, or modify. The usage rights filter on the Advanced Search page shows you pages that are either labeled with a Creative Commons license or labeled as being in the public domain.

General image sites

Many other national and state libraries, museums and art galleries have online image galleries which can be used for teaching purposes, for example:

Creative Commons collections

Commercial pictorial libraries

Subscription image databases