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Image Resources from PCC: Science Images


images courtesy: Britannica ImageQuest

Science Images from the Web

Human Biology

Bassett Collection of Stereoscopic Images of Human Anatomy

  • Can be used under Creative Commons non-commercial license.

Biodiversity Heritage Library

  • Portal to science image collections. Copyright determined by institutions..

Centers for Disease Control Public Health Image Library (PHIL)

  • Most of the images in PHIL are in the public domain and permission is not required. However, please credit the original institution and contributor whe known, whenever the image is used in any publicly distributed media.
  • If the image is identified as copyright protected, you will need to contact the content provider.


  • Images of bones for humans as well as other primates.
  • Reproduction or recreation is permitted under not for profit circumstances and enterprises with proper attribution to eSkeletons.org.

History of Medicine Images from the National Library of Medicine

  • Users are responsible for determining appropriate usage.
  • Library of Congress Science Reference Services.

MedPix from the National Library of Medicine

  • Free Open Access Images

National Human Genome Research Institutes of Health Image Gallery (on Flickr)

  • Most images are public domain but check each item individually for copyright information.

National Cancer Institute Visuals Online (at NIH)

  • Most images are public domain.

National Institutes of Health Image Gallery (on Flickr)

  • Most images are public domain but check each item individually for copyright information.

Smart Servier Medical Art

  • Free illustrations of body parts, licensed to download and use under Creative Commons.

Plants and Animals

Animal Diversity Web

  • Online resource from the University of Michigan with images of animals and their habitats.
  • Many images are available under a Creative Commons license but consult individual works for rights information.

Botanical Society of America Images

  • Items posted on the Botanical Society of America's website are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License.


  • Open collections at the Barcelona Natural Sciences Museum. There is a translate to English button for the website.

Earth Science

National Park Service

  • Most images in the public domain

Earth Science World Image Bank (American GeoSciences Institute)

  • Images are available for free for use in non-commercial, personal and educational setting.

Geology Pics

  • Images available for free for instructional presentations.

NOAA Natural Hazards Images

  • Credit source of the image as well as NOAA/NCEI.

NOAA Volcano Images

U.S. Geological Survey Images

  • Most images are in the public domain, but a few are identified as being protected by copyright.
  • Credit should be given to the image creator as well as the Earth Science World Image Bank.


NASA Images

  • Most images are from NASA and are in the public domain.

Hubblesite Images

  • Unless otherwise identified, the images are from NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute.
  • Reproduction or recreation is permitted under not for profit circumstances and enterprises with proper attricution to eSkeletons.org.

Sloane Digital Sky Survey

Any SDSS image on the SDSS website may be downloaded, linked to, or otherwise used for any purpose, provided that you maintain the image credits. Unless otherwiwse states, images should be credited to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.



National Science Foundation

  • Most images are in the public domain.

Smithsonian Open Access

  • Images, information and other materials which can be used freely in educational settings.

Digital Public Library of America

  • Images organized by topic.
  • Copyright varies. See individual items for details on obtaining permissions.


  • Read License section for conditions of use.


  • All content can be used for free for commercial and noncommercial use across print and digital. 
  • Attribution is not required.

Pics4 Learning

  • Images free to use in educational settings.

Listing of U.S. Government agencies with online photo collections  

  • Many images are not in the public domain and are under copyright.

Image Database Subscriptions at PCC

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a group of licenses which enable use of many online images, videos, music and other digital materials. It is a great resource for academic institutions as most works covered by the license allow for use in an educational setting without the need to contact the copyright holder. There is also a Creative Commons license that allows use for any purpose.  Note that when using a work covered by Creative Commons you must always credit the work.

To search for images covered by Creative Commons licenses use the CC Search


The Smithsonian has released 2.8 million high-resolution two- and three-dimensional images from across its collections onto an open access online platform for patrons to peruse and download free of charge. Featuring data and material from all 19 Smithsonian museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives and the National Zoo, the new digital depot encourages the public to not just view its contents, but use, reuse and transform them into just about anything they choose—be it a postcard, a beer koozie or a pair of bootie shorts.