Creative Commons image resources


When searching for royalty-free images for your website, a good place to start is to look for images with a Creative Commons license.

Types of Creative Commons licenses

There are a number of different types of Creative Commons licenses. The type of license assigned to an image identifies how that image can be used — e.g. can the image be used commercially? can it be edited?

It’s best to check the type of Creative Commons license carefully to be sure you’ll be able to meet the requirements outlined by the image’s creator. The least restrictive license is a CC0 license. Images with a CC0 license are in the public domain and are freely available for use without restrictions.

Where to find creative commons images

Here are a few of our favourite sites for searching for Creative Commons images:

Many Creative Commons image resources contain McGill-themed images that you can view by searching “McGill”. Other terms we often search include, “Montreal” and “students”.  Here’s a good example of the latter from Unsplash, which happens to be of McGill:


Other options for sourcing royalty-free images for WMS sites

  • McGill Newsroom, Request a photo
  • If you have a photography budget, you might also consider hiring a freelance photographer to take custom images for your site.

Do you have a favourite site for searching Creative Commons images? Share your recommendations in the comments below!