CC Search

Finding good images online that can be used freely without breaching copyright can be a challenge.  CC Search ( is a tool which aims to make this task a little easier.  CC search is working to improve discoverability of copyright cleared images by cross searching open archives.  The CC stands for Creative Commons, a licencing system that facilitates the sharing and reuse of content.   Simply enter your search term in the box and get results returned from Flickr, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Library, Rijkmuseum and Europeana amongst others.  CC Search is a prototype at the moment but still has lots to offer.   The total number of searchable images is now over 10 million after the recent integration of 470,000 more images from Europeana.  Extra features, like creating lists and favourites are available by setting up an account on the site.  Another good feature is one click attribution, making referencing your source quicker and easier.  CC Search is worth a visit if you are looking for images.

“By the Seaside” by Klearchos Kapoutsis is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Ice cream” by CeresB is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Beach Huts” by Mary T Moore is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Run away with the circus with the National Fairground Archive

Discover a fascinating detailed piece of history captured in this archive collection exploring how fairgrounds used to be. The National Fairground Archive is celebrating 20 years since its opening at the Western Bank Library, University of Sheffield. The NFA is a unique collection of material covering all aspects of the culture and history of travelling fairs and entertainment from the 1800’s to the present day.

The Archive forms part of the Special Collections and Archive Division of the University Library. Its current holdings include a wide variety of documents, photographs, and audio visual material which record not only the history of fairs and popular entertainment and the role played by travelling showpeople. The collection is still growing, presently working with some rare footage from a collection by the circus historian Noel Drewe, as well as a large selection of family films featuring prominent London show families through the 1960s. It is a leading repository of material relating to British fairs and the amusement industry. The Archive presently holds over 70,000 photographs, and many thousands of items of memorabilia relating to travelling fairs including one hundred hours of recorded interviews with travelling showpeople which are being transcribed.

Kirkcaldy Fair 1978
Kirkcaldy Fair 1978

McGinley, Alan (1978) Kirkcaldy Fair photograph, 1978 [Online] Available at (Accessed 15 January 2015)

Scotland's tallest living man
One of 1000 colour slides from the Dick Scott-Stewart collection

Scott-Stewart, Dick (1974) George Gentle Giant Show exterior [Online] Available at (Accessed 15 January 2015)

Birmingham Onion Fair Stilt Walker photographed 18 November 1950
Birmingham Onion Fair Stilt Walker photographed 18 November 1950

Stilt walker (1950) Available at (Accessed 15 January 2015)

The archive was also recently featured in a BBC4 programme called Timeshift where you can see some video clips of the fairs in action.

Images reproduced with permission of the University of Sheffield.

Millions of archived historical images uploaded to Flickr

Dive into the Internet Archive Book Images collection

Searching for images online for a project? How would 19 petabytes’ worth of historical data in pictures help? Thanks to the diligent work of data evangelist Kalev Leetaru 3 million images have been added to Flickr with potentially more than 14 million images eventually expected to make their way online.  The data has been salvaged from 600 million library book pages and scanned by the Internet Archive organization. The Internet Archive is best known for its historical library of the web, preserving more than 400 billion web pages dating back to 1996.

Image from 'Practical Physics' by Millikan, Robert Andrews; Gale, Henry Gordon

Madame Curie, University of Paris, Discoverer of Radium and E. Rutherford of Cambridge University, Discoverer of Radioactive Transformations

Millikan, Robert Andrews and Gale, Henry Gordon (1922) ‘Practical Physics’ Boston : Ginn and Co., Flickr Internet Archive Book Images [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 4 Sept 2014)

The image entries also include the text before and after the image, so the photoset is searchable. The images link back to the e-book from which the data was extracted. This makes the collection a valuable research tool and a way of preserving what may otherwise be lost in history.

The Internet Archive posed some curious questions.. “What if every illustration, drawing, chart, map, or photograph became an entry point, allowing one to navigate the world’s books not as paragraphs of text, but as a visual tapestry of our lives? How would we learn and explore knowledge differently? Those were the questions that launched a project to catalog the imagery of half a millennium of books.”

Budding software engineers may also get the opportunity to use the code behind the creation of the archive. “Any library could repeat this process,” Leetaru explained. “That’s actually my hope, that libraries around the world run this same process of their digitised books to constantly expand this universe of images.”

So have a browse and see what you can discover..



Free access to world’s finest digital news collection

British Pathé was once a dominant feature of the British cinema experience, renowned for first-class reporting and an informative yet uniquely entertaining style. Now considered to be the finest newsreel archive in the world, British Pathé stores 85,000 films of historical and cultural significance. Spanning the years from 1896 to 1979, the collection includes footage from around the globe of major events, famous faces, fashion trends, travel, science and culture.

The entire archive is available to view online for free via the British Pathé YouTube channel ( and website (

All rights are reserved so if you wish to license footage, please contact

In addition to this huge video collection, we would like to highlight The British Library’s collections on Flickr Commons. The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom holding over 13 million books, 920,000 journal and newspaper titles, 57 million patents, 3 million sound recordings, and much, much more.

Image taken from page 307 of 'Thrilling Incidents of the Wars of the United States.'
Image taken from page 307 of ‘Thrilling Incidents of the Wars of the United States.’

Browse through their Flickr account to access millions of public domain images, which you are encouraged to explore and re-use (see copyright info). The British Library has released these collections into the public domain to improve knowledge of them and enable novel and unexpected ways of using them so feel free to explore and use them in your research!

Helpful resources for images

The library has access to a large number of resources specifically for images and multimedia. A list of those can be seen within our e-resources section of the college website. Here are some we would like to highlight to you…

Wellcome Images

This website holds a wide range of free to use low resolution images from the Wellcome Library collections, with themes ranging from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and biomedical science. All of the low res images on this site are freely available for download for personal, academic teaching or study use under the Creative Commons licence. Further information on copyrights and terms of use are available on site.

Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive (PYMCA)

Students of Fife College also have access to a useful resource for images held in the Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive (PYMCA). This would be a great source of images for those studying media, fashion, music or social sciences.  This collection of over 40,000 photographs, moving images and much more covers 150 years of youth culture and social history resources.

Click on the ‘Education’ menu option and login via home institution by selecting Fife College from the list.

There are many more useful online resources available, the links are on the college website here and also within iLearn here.

Online catalogue unavailable – 29/01/10 from 9am to 10am

Our Online Library Catalogue ( will be unavailable tomorrow morning (Friday 29th Jan 2010)  from 9am until 10am.  This is due to essential maintenance.  Sorry  for any inconvenience caused.

New resource: The John Johnson Collection

The John Johnson Collection contains printed ephemera from the 18th,19th and 20th centuries .  Printed ephemera refers to the documents that would normally be thrown away such as adverts, tickets, posters and pamphlets.  These documents can provide a unique and interesting insight into history.  The Collection has now been made available online and covers the following topics:

  • 19th century entertainment
  • The booktrade
  • Popular prints
  • Crimes, murders and executions
  • Adverstising

More information is on You Tube:

You can access the John Johnson Collection from the e-resources page of the library website or at

No password is required from College computers.  To access the Collection from a computer outside the College network you will need to login with your institutional login/shibboleth.  Click here to find out how to do this.