British Library releases images to public domain

Image from British Library collectionA lot of students and faculty don’t realize that you need permission from the rights holder to use many of the images found online unless you use Creative Commons licensed content. The problem is that you often can’t find images you like that are licensed for non-commercial reuse and modification.

But things are looking up:  The British Library (basically their version of the Library of Congress) released over 1 million images into the public domain. (**like the one at right). That means you can use them any way you like. The images come from Microsoft’s digitization of about 65,000 books published in 17th, 18th, and 19th C., which were then given to the British Library. According to the British Library announcement, the collection includes “maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of.” Start browsing the collection here. The library intends to “crowdsource” for help in describing what the images portray.

**The image in this blog post is “Mr. Wrench,” a character in a book called “Songs…in an entirely new … burletta … called Tom and Jerry, or Life in London … founded on P.E.’s work, etc. ? by British journalist, sportswriter, Pierce Egan.

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