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Images, Music, & Copyright

A guide to finding legally reusable images and sounds.

Brooks Library Image Resources

The resources available in the Brooks Library include several collections of images and many of the books, government publications, journals, and other items in our collection include a variety of images.  Most of the images - and most of the text and other information - available on the Brooks Library shelves or in our databases are not licensed under a Creative Commons License and are under copyright.

The two clear exceptions are 1.) those image that you make yourself from books published before 1923, and 2.) images and text found in U.S. government publications (Title 17 USC, Section 105). Scanners are available on every floor for making copies in accordance with the Fair Use provision of US Copyright Law (Title 17 USC, Section 107).

In addition to the images that can be found on our shelves images can be found in our databases.  Two lists of databases with appreciable image content are "Subject: "Art + Design"" and "Database Type: "Images"".  The images in these databases are expected to be used for scholarly purposes, but no license for other uses is implied or assumed.  Please limit your reuse to scholarly activities covered by the Fair Use provision of US Copyright Law.

Some particularly useful databases to search for images:

Images may also be found in a number of other databases that the Brooks Library subscribes to.  If you include a complete citation you may usually reuse those images for scholarly non-commercial purposes.  Even if the image is not covered by copyright - and is labeled as not covered by copyright - you should always include a complete citation for the image in your bibliography.  A complete citation is essential for good scholarship.