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University Libraries - Government Information and Maps

Images & Photographs in the Public Domain

The following are sources of either public domain images and photographs or images from U.S. government agencies. Please check individual sources and sites for information on copyright and re-use.

Some images and photos are on CD-ROM. These are available for check out from the Documents department.

U.S. Government Graphics and Photos: List of image sources from

Agricultural Images: photographs of crops, vegetables, fruits and nuts, household pests, livestock and poultry.

American Memory: from the Library of Congress.

American "a national initiative to make everyone aware of the rich cultural heritage resources in Federal and national collections. Through American Strategy more than two dozen Federal agencies offer links to their digitized collections - including information, images, and sounds - to make them accessible to the public."

Biological Atlas of the Arctic Seas 2000: Plankton of the Barents and Kara Seas, International Ocean Atlas Series, V.2, 2000 C 55.297:OC 2/V.2/CD
Atlas in HTML and MS Word format, original data, auxiliary tables, maps and bibliography on Barents Sea phytoplankton and zooplankton, plankton taxa, photos and drawings of 50 main phytoplankton species, maps and graphs of marine environment, plankton changes (1930s-1990s).

DefenseLINK Multimedia Gallery: photos, audio and videos from the Department of Defense.

Earth Science Photographs from the U.S.G.S. Library I 19.121:21/v.1-4
Four CD-ROM set containing 1,500 scanned, public domain photographs available from the U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library in Denver for use as a photographic glossary of introductory geological terms. Photographs taken to support USGS projects and reports over the 116 years prior to 1992.

FEMA Photo Library: searchable photo database from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Forestry Images: Forest Health, Natural Resources and Silviculture photographs.

Geologic Hazard Photos, Volume 1-3, February 1997, (CD-ROM) C 55.54:G 29/V.1-3/CD
Vol.1: Earthquakes, General Topics. Vol. 2: Earthquake Events. Vol. 3: Landslides, Tsunamis, Volcanoes. Images on the CD-ROM are available in GIF, JPEG and TIF format. JPG and TIF formats available on the website. The CD-ROM includes GeoVu software for data access and visualization.

Images of Kilauea East Rift Zone Eruption, 1983-1993. I 19.121:24
Contains 475 scanned photographs from the USGS Hawaii Observatory Library. Image sizes range from 700 Kb to 1.5 Mb and are stored in a PCX format.

Images from the History of Medicine: "provides access to the nearly 60,000 images in the prints and photograph collection of the History of Medicine Division (HMD) of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). The collection includes portraits, pictures of institutions, caricatures, genre scenes, and graphic art in a variety of media, illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine."

Invasive and Exotic Species: photographs of insects, weeds, diseases, biological control agents other invasive or exotic organisms.

Library of Environmental Images, October 1997, (CD-ROM) EP 1.104:IM 1
A collection of images relating to environmental sciences for export and use in documents, slide presentations, web pages, and multimedia applications. Images are available in low resolution (RGB TIFF, 650K, 72 dpi) or high resolution (JPEG compressed TIFF, 10MB decompressed, 300 dpi).

NARA: National Archives and Records Administration has over 124,000 digital images although these include images of documents. Select the check box next to "Descriptions of Archival Materials linked to digital copies" to restrict your search to digital images.

NASA Image Exchange: "a web-based search engine for simultaneously searching one or more of NASA's online image and photo collections."

NASA Multimedia Gallery: photo, video and audio galleries.

National Image Library: "the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's online collection of public domain still photographs. The National Image Library contains still photo images of wildlife, plants, National Wildlife Refuges and other scenics, as well as wildlife management work."

NRCS Photo Gallery: "natural resource and conservation related photos from across the USA."

NOAA Photo Library: "includes thousands of weather and space images, hundreds of images of our shores and coastal seas, and thousands of marine species images ranging from the great whales to the most minute plankton."

Photoglossary of Marine and Continental Ichnofossils. I 19.121:23
Contains 328 scanned images from the authors' photographs, intended to acquaint the user and educational community with examples of ichnofossils found in both modern and ancient marine and continental depositional systems. Images may be retrieved by geographic age (chronostratigraphic assignment), geographic location, taxonomic classification, and organism common name.

Photographs from the U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library (Earthquakes, Volcanos, Geologic Hazards, and Other Phenomena). I 19.121:8
Contains 560 scanned color and black-and-white images from photographs held in the Library's collection. Images scanned using 120- to 360-dots-per-inch resolution. Each is approximately 1.2 megabytes (1200 by 1000 pixels) and is stored in a PCX format. High-quality prints and slides are available.

Photographs of Historical Mining Operations in Colorado and Utah from the U.S. Geological Survey Library. I 19.121:12
Contains 558 scanned photographs from the U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library that provide literal snapshot views of Colorado and Utah mining operations. Each approximately 1.16 megabytes and stored in a PCX format.

Public Health Image Library: still images, image sets, and multimedia files related to public health from the CDC.

Remembering Apollo 11, 1969 - 1999, July 1999, (CD-ROM)NAS 1.86:AP 4/2/CD
Collection of "hard-to-find" technical and other information on the Apollo 13 mission and the Apollo program in general. Includes basic overviews, annotated bibliography, technical data such as mission operations reports, histories, biographies, video and audio clips and images. Companion website.

Terra: the EOS flagship, (CD-ROM) NAS 1.86:T 27/yr/CD
Visual images representing the development of the TERRA spacecraft and its mission. Mission website:

The Military Intelligence Story, A Photographic History, etc., February 1998, (CD-ROM) D 101.2:IN 8/12/998/CD
Uses the medium of photography to trace the beginning of various intelligence disciplines. Shows the major transformations undergone by the Army's intelligence components in the 1970s. Includes an overview of modern military intelligence in the 1980s and 1990s.

The October 17, 1989, Loma Prieta, California, Earthquake -- Selected Photographs. I 19.121:29
Contains 103 digitized color images from Open-file report 90-547, and USGS fact sheet 510-99, Progress toward a safer future since the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake.

Visible Earth: searchable directory of images, visualizations and animations of the Earth from NASA.

Women in the U.S. Armed Forces, etc., First Edition, September 1998, (CD-ROM) D 1.95:W 84/CD
450 images from the Defense Visual Information Center (DVIC) in multiple resolutions including high-resolution JPEG. All images cleared for public release and approved for unrestricted use and publication.