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(Redirected from Open Clip Art Library)
Type of site
Media repository
Created byJon Phillips, Bryce Harrington
RegistrationRequired for posting & uploading
Current statusActive
Content license
CC Zero 1.0
Unless noted, content is waived of all copyright and related or neighboring rights under this license.

Openclipart, also called Open Clip Art Library, is an online media repository of free-content vector clip art. The project hosts over 160,000 free graphics and has billed itself as "the largest community of artists making the best free original clipart for you to use for absolutely any reason".

The website was brought down for several months by a reported DDoS attack in April 2019;[1] access to the library via other means was still possible, including partial copies of the library that were hosted on several mirror sites. The site's search feature was restored in May 2020.[2]


Examples of clip art from Openclipart

The Openclipart library (OCAL) was established in early 2004 by Jon Phillips and Bryce Harrington, who had worked together to develop the open-source vector graphics suites Sodipodi and its successor, Inkscape.[3] The OCAL project initially grew out of a project started by Christian Schaller (Uraeus), who, on October 26, 2003, issued a challenge on the Gnome Desktop website for Sodipodi users to create a collection of flags in SVG format.[4] The flag project progressed very well, resulting in a collection of over 90 flags made publicly available in SVG format,[5] and broadened the project's goals to include generic clipart. The project became known as Openclipart by April 2004, with the stated aim of making all its contributed images freely available in the public domain.[6][7][8][9][10][excessive citations]

In the early stages of the Openclipart project, the website lacked thumbnails and was difficult to browse. Downloadable Openclipart packages were released to help propagate the images in the library, and were available directly from the Openclipart website: as an add-on for various Linux distributions such as Fedora, and as an NSIS installer for Windows.[11] Each package included most of the clipart to date, and they were manually sorted into categories.[11][12] The Openclipart package version 0.20 was released in 2010.[13] The Openclipart packages received a few more incremental updates during 2010, mostly for seasonal clipart.[14][15]

An overhauled Openclipart 2.0 website went live as a beta in February 2010 with a full release in March 2010.[16] The site introduced a change from the old ccHost software to the new AGPL-based Aiki Framework,[17] a content management system made for Openclipart 2.0. The new site allowed anyone to easily browse and add to the Openclipart collection. Jon Phillips, Andy Fitzsimon, Bassel Safadi, Michi, Ronaldo Barbachano, and Brad Phillips added image thumbnails and improved search functions made the Openclipart library more user-friendly, which contributed to higher site traffic. The site was receiving over 5,000 unique visitors and 50,000 page views daily.[18][19]

The 3.0 website release incorporated allowed members to "favorite" clip art, and provided an image-editing feature that made image remixing significantly easier.

On April 15, 2013, Openclipart launched a new logo and updated their website design with a "scissors" logo.[relevant?][20]

On March 12, 2014, Openclipart announced that Inkpad, an open-source drawing app for iPads, had released library integration to make the entire collection available to its users.[21]

Lockdown and attempts at mirroring the library[edit]

On April 19, 2019, the site was taken offline by what was initially reported as a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack),[22][23][1] though Jon Philips, one of the site's founders, appeared to be a victim of identity theft.[24][25] All pages on OpenClipart were redirected to a page asking users to donate money "to support protection". The message was updated on December 25, 2019, with a statement that the site was being "gifted to the community" and that new files could once again be uploaded to the library.

By scraping, most of the library was recovered and hosted on[26] A second mirror was established at[27]

In early May 2020, the website's Twitter account announced that the search feature had been re-enabled.[2]

Packages and apps[edit]

  • Inkpad for iPad, with Openclipart Integration.[28]
  • The vector graphics editor Inkscape can import vector graphics online from Openclipart to one's current workspace. (For Inkscape on Windows, one needs the latest build, ≥ 0.49.)[29]
  • Microsoft Office app[30]
  • Google Docs Add-on[31]
  • LibreOffice extension[32]
  • iOS Clipart,[33] iOS PosterMaker[34]
  • Clipart Search, Openclipart for Android[35]
  • Clipart plugin[36] for WordPress
  • Clipart plugin[37] for Moodle
  • Linux distributions

Some Linux distributions, including Mandriva and Ubuntu, include many of the Openclipart collection releases packaged as SVG, PNG or OpenDocument-format files.[38] These distributions are based on the 2005 pre-ccHost release, since regular releases stopped after the switch to ccHost software. Openclipart 0.19, the first version released after the switch, was released in March 2009. With the release of version 2.0 and updated packages, distributions have bugs filed in their respective bug trackers to begin packaging Openclipart once more.

Openclipart was included on the cover discs in Linux Format issues 123 and 132 as a package of browseable SVG files from the Openclipart collection.[39][40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Haden, David (9 May 2019). "Finding an OpenClipart fallback". News from JURN. Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  2. ^ a b Openclipart (May 2, 2020). "Great news! The search feature on the site is now LIVE! Search clip art at Colorful geometric line art by GDJ". Twitter. Retrieved 2022-12-23.
  3. ^ "JonPhillips". Inkscape Wiki. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  4. ^ Schaller, Christian (26 Oct 2003). "Join the SVG Flag revolution!". GNOME Mail Services. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  5. ^ Uraeus. "Show us your flag!". Archived from the original on May 13, 2004. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  6. ^ Harrington, Bryce (2017-05-01). "[Clipart] Thoughts on what Clipart needs for Project Management". Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  7. ^ Phillips, Jon (2004-11-04). "Open Clip Art Project - First Meeting". Archived from the original on 2004-11-04. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  8. ^ Phillips, Jon (2017-05-23). "[Clipart] Introduction to the Open Clip Art Library - OOoCon2004 Paper Abstract". Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  9. ^ Jon Phillips (11 April 2004). "Open Clip Art Project - FAQ". Archived from the original on 2004-10-20. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  10. ^ JonPhillips (29 April 2004). "Open Clip Art Project roadmap". Archived from the original on 2004-10-20. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  11. ^ a b "Introduction to the Open Clip Art Library". Archived from the original on 2007-01-06. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  12. ^ "Case Studies/Open clip art library". Creative Commons. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Roadmap". Open Clip Art Library Wiki. 2010-02-11. Archived from the original on 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  14. ^ "downloads". Openclipart. Archived from the original on 2011-04-02. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Past milestones". Open Clip Art Library Wiki. 2010-12-18. Archived from the original on 2010-12-18. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  16. ^ Safadi, Bassel (2017-02-24). "[Clipart] OCAL 2.0". Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  17. ^ Phillips, Jon (2016-10-03). "[Clipart] ocal 2.0". Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  18. ^ brad (2010). "Open Clip Art Library 2.0 is Here!". Fabricatorz. Archived from the original on 2012-09-21. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  19. ^ "Open Clip Art Library 2.0 is Here!". 2010-03-08. Archived from the original on March 12, 2010. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
  20. ^ "We are a design & technology company". Fabricatorz. 2013-04-14. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
  21. ^ "Draw with Openclipart on your Ipad". Openclipart. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
  22. ^ "Openclipart op Twitter: "UPDATE: Our plan is to get the site back online early next week. Under DDOS attack from some unknown forces, the simplest thing to protect our beloved Openclipart is to keep offline at present. Your CLIPART is SAFE. Donation & Love Accepted. [...]"". Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  23. ^ "Openclipart / 404 Page Not Found1". Archived from the original on 2019-04-19. Retrieved 2023-04-13.
  24. ^ Phillips, Jon (2019-06-11). "Have you ever been the victim of identity theft? That is the world we live in now. It will increase! Recent events have forced me to cleanup my accounts everywhere ..." @rejon. Archived from the original on 2019-06-21. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  25. ^ Openclipart (2019-06-11). "Hello, this is @rejon. The founder of Openclipart. I have taken back control of this account. I unblocked accounts that were blocked". @openclipart. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  26. ^ Kenlon, Seth. "How I used the wget Linux command to recover lost images". Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  27. ^ Welcome to FreeSVGClipart! (October 28, 2019). Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  28. ^ "Inkpad iOS App". 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  29. ^ "Inkscape latest build with Import OCAL support". Archived from the original on 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
  30. ^ "Microsoft Office app". Archived from the original on 2014-11-10. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  31. ^ "Google Docs Add-on". Archived from the original on 2019-08-07. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  32. ^ LibreOffice integration
  33. ^ Clipart
  34. ^ PosterMaker
  35. ^ Free Clip Art - Android Apps on Google Play
  36. ^ Clipart plugin
  37. ^ "Moodle plugin that allows the user to search and import clipart". Archived from the original on 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  38. ^ Ubuntu openclipart Packages
  39. ^ Linux Format Issue 123
  40. ^ Linux Format Issue 132

External links[edit]