Wikipedia:Free or semi-free non-Public-Domain information resources

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

These resources are copyrighted and licensed under terms that allow free redistribution in some form. There may be requirements to credit the original authors, or restrictions on making modifications. Check the license posted on each site for such restrictions. Note well: many of these sources cannot be used directly in Wikipedia. See open content for more details.

To make the distinction between these items and public domain and GFDL resources clear,

Free or semi-free non-public-domain information resources:


  • Envirowiki Australian environment wiki. Licensed under Creative Commons.
  • Greenlivingpedia Australian environment wiki. Licensed under Creative Commons.
  • Tip the Planet Environmental tips wiki. Licensed under Creative Commons.


  • The Wonderlusters Free high-resolution travel photographs under Creative Commons.
  • Texturegen Free quality high resolution textures.
  • Alegri Photos Good quality images under creative commons licence.
  • Download Free Images a collection of high quality stock photographs under creative commons licence.
  • a comprehensive listing of sites offering free stock photos, vectors, textures and other design resources
  • Photogen high-resolution stock photos free for commercial and personal use
  • (officially close on June 30, 2003)
  • Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia was last updated in 1997. Here is their license: "Copying and redistribution of Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia is freely permitted, as is the creation, copying, and distribution of derivative works. The Requests For Comments (RFCs) are covered by a separate copyright, included below." I think we should contact the editor before importing anything into Wikipedia.
I guess it was updated since, though the main page wasn't: have a look at [1].
  • Free images, liberal license but check it anyway. Not compatible with GFDL: "You must not redistribute the images in anyway designed for reuse".
  • WebMuseum - their license agreement is based on the Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 License; however, it explicitly allows (under point 7) copying under the GNU FDL. Contains information about art styles and painters, and images of artworks. Note: The WebMusum article on Hiroshige is identical to Encarta's.
  • The UK Public Records Office publishes documents that are Crown Copyright This allows "accurate" reproduction with an acknowledgment for some materials - not images for example.
  • GNU miscfiles project
  • - Website not working as of July 2016. Wayback machine still allows access. A collection of high resolution free photos under CC 3.0 attribution license
  • Free Stock Photos from Cepolina Photos We now have OTRS permission for all the images from Please use this image as reference for license and OTRS ticket.
  • has extensive information on the Spanish Civil War, albeit from a left political POV. Their webmaster Tomas Capdevila says, "I explicitly allow anyone to copy the text content on La Cucaracha The Spanish Civil War web site and reuse it, unchanged or changed, with or without mentioning the source, partially or as a whole, with the exception of text being marked as belonging to another author (like quotations) or mirrored web pages. Please notice that some of the photography's could be copyrighted in your country."
  • Dmoz A community created directory of websites licensed under the Open Directory License
  • University of Wisconsin Digital Collections a large database of images and sound files (recently passed the 1 million file mark), many of which explicitly allow fair use rights, many other images published before 1923 (see the individual file's page in the collection for specific rights).
  • The Boletín Oficial del Estado (Spanish state official paper) has set up a web site with scanned images of ALL of its content from 1875 up to 1967. It's part of a more general site. It makes available all laws and decrees of the Spanish government (including both sides during the Spanish Civil War) and many other petty official documents. Laws should generally be public domain, and some other documents will be old enough to be public domain. Someone may want to look into the legal status of these materials, it's possible that the bulk of the site is public domain, in which case someone may want to move this item to Wikipedia:Public domain.
  • DigitalNZ, a large collection of New Zealand related images, film, newspapers, etc. sourcing from 300+ collections. Majority of images licensed under Creative Commons.



Social and arts[edit]

  • Flags of the World 12,900 pages about flags and view more than 23,000 images of flags (be careful in referring to them, as many of them, minor flags specially and by Jaume Ollé, seem completely invented - verify with other sources too).
  • Free Music! (Dead Link) Recordings of works of classical music in the public domain, released under the EFF's Open Audio License copyleft.
  • Internet History Sourcebooks A collection of public domain and "copy permitted" (whatever that means) historical source documents collected by Paul Halsall at Fordham -- note: he claims copyright on some forms of these documents.
  • Soil and Health Library: A collection of books on holistic agriculture, holistic health, self-sufficient living, and personal development. Some books are in the public domain, others are not.
  • Collection of dictionary databases in the public domain or under other free or semi-free licenses including GFDL consist of several public domain and semi-free dictionary resources.[2].
  • Open Music Registry - works under Open Audio License.
  • MusicBrainz - MusicBrainz content about recorded music is public domain and Open Audio License.
  • UNCG Libraries, Archives and Manuscripts Department - Finding aids for manuscript collections documenting historical figures and organizations. Abstracted information about the subject/collection may be shared freely, content of the collections themselves may be protected under copyright.
  • LGBT History UK project Online encyclopedia of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life in the United Kingdom throughout history. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Science and technology[edit]

Life Science[edit]

Useful searches[edit]

  • - Searching over 2.2 million free photos, including a variety of non-PD licenses. Free user accounts allow drag and drop collections, rating, tagging, and advanced search.
  • - Searches hand picked Free stock photo-, public domain-, and photo community sites. Includes the ability to search by rights! (whether you need to give credit, ask permission or not)
  • Creative Commons images on Flickr: [[6]]
  • Search for content licensed under the Creative Commons License, Note: this search will return more than 100,000 results, however, the vast majority of these are not GFDL compatible, look for content that have either:
    1. No restriction.
    2. Only the "attribution" and/or "share-alike" restrictions. (please provide appropriate attribution when copying from such content)
See also