Here’s a list of some wonderful sources for stock vintage imagery, photos and ephemera. You absolutely NEED photos of Victorian ladies, misty sepia children in smocks and dignified bearded guys in hats..
There are literally thousands of these public domain photos, clip art and decorative designs to browse through in the site listed below, so sit back with your laptop and a cup of coffee and enjoy a visual trip into the past.. You can use all these for your creative projects – and with most of them commercial use is ok, but don’t take my word for it – please read the license terms on each website/image carefully.
Beautiful collection of vintage coloured clip art. These are the kinds of designs you often see used for decoupage. The free images are small in size so are best for web use rather than print, but you can pay a small fee to download a larger image.
Visit the site: http://antiqueclipart.com/
Vintageimages on GenPics.Org is a site devoted to displaying dated photographs. These are particularly interesting because of the discussion and information about each of the images.
Visit the site: http://datedimages.genpics.org/
Free Public-domain historical clipart – the clipart covering all ages of the Worlds History from pre-historic. Includes a great section of vintage decorative borders and other decorative elements, illuminated letters and alphabets.
Visit the site: http://www.clipart-history.com/
From Harry Clarke to 1890′s storybooks, there’s a treasury of unique images or clipart for use on your web pages or in other design or craft project. Content that you probably won’t find anywhere else online.
Visit the site: http://www.grandmasgraphics.com/index.php
This is a collection of copyright free images chosen for crafters by a crafter. There are free drawings, paintings, and illustrations that have been rescued from old print materials that have since gone out of print and would have remained on the bookshelves of history..
Visit the site: http://www.reusableart.com/
An amazing collection of over 4,000 vintage photographs (mostly portraits of super stylin’ old dudes with beards) from the Brady-Handy Collection, which was purchased by the United States Library of Congress in 1954.
Visit the site: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?st=grid&co=brhc
The daguerreotype process was the first practical method of obtaining permanent images with a camera. There are approximately 700 daguerreotypes in this collection from the Library of Congress. Most of the images are portraits, but the collection does include a few early architectural views, outdoor scenes, and copies of works of art.
Visit the site: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?st=grid&co=dag
Loads to discover here on this page of links to collections of vintage images. Most of these images are contributed by art-e-zine visitors. Some are in the public domain but check carefully before you use them.
Visit the site: http://www.art-e-zine.co.uk/vintageresources.html
Flickr Vintage photo pool
A collection of 485 vintage photos on flickr. To the best of the authors knowledge all images are copyrightfree, and in public domain, however they are NOT to be sold on CD’s, Collage sheets etc.
Visit this page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrysti/sets/72057594064002193/
Free vintage images – mostly naturalist, botanical and scientific. Its says on the site that there are 27067 images - luckily they are searchable by keywords!
Visit the site: http://vintageprintable.com/
Loads of imagery here. Usage rights vary so check each image!
What is a public domain image?
Read the page on the link above before you start grabbing stuff! Google defines public domain images as follows.. “The public domain is an intellectual property designation for the range of content that is not owned or controlled by anyone. These materials are public property, and available for anyone to use freely (the “right to copy”) for any purpose. …”