I’m always looking for interesting stock image sites, preferably free ones. And, I must admit that I’m rather fascinated by historic photos and drawings. When I can I use them as post images for my blog posts and social media postings.
Flickr has created The Commons which amasses a collection of public photography archives.
Flickr’s The Commons goal is “to share hidden treasures from the world’s public photography archives.” To do so they are cataloguing public photo archives around the world, or at least the ones that are available online.
Participating institutions include museums, universities, churches, libraries and archives.
Each participating organization has a link to its Rights Statement. It is recommended that you review this statement prior to use to assure that you are permitted to use it as the specifics of the rights vary from archive to archive and may also vary depending on the intended use of the image (commercial or non-commercial). You can read an overview about the Rights Statements here.
Here are some very random examples of what images are available on The Commons:
If you’re writing fiction, particularly historical fiction, you might also find some of these images are helpful for your storyboards.
Have fun exploring and let me know in the comments if you find anything exciting!