U. S. Government Printing Office, Office of War Information, 1943

We use images to tell stories. They help to personalize the events by showing us the faces of the people involved, the communities that the challenges came from, and some of the documents produced. Images can include photographs, scanned documents, video or audio files, or multi-media presentations.

If you can suggest other sources, please send them in the form below!

Locating images

Start by looking for images and video materials that are in the public domain. These include  materials published before 1923 and unpublished materials created by authors that died 70 years ago (1948) or more.

Depending on your case, you may not be able to find public domain materials that fit. You will then need to secure permissions. Work with your archivist / librarian to locate local sources– archives, libraries, newspapers, public records — and secure permissions to use them.


It is critical that you provide citations for every image that you use on your website.  This means conducting  research at times. You cannot simply copy an image from a website, a Pinterest board,  or from a Google search and cite it as “Google” or “Mary’s Important Blog,”  you need to know where the original image is located and whether you have the rights.

  • Look for citations when you find an image you want to use.
  • Be careful of sharing sites like Pinterest or Instagram. Many times these images do not belong to the person who ou found them.
  • You can use Google’s reverse image search to look for more versions of an image you found on the web.


You must check the copyright status of images that you use on your site, and make sure that you have permission to use them.

If the images are in copyright, locate the creator and get permission. You can create a permission agreement by using the COPLAC Digital sample.