It can be hard for artists, designers, photo editors, and other creatives to track down Public Domain materials for their work. A number of resources offer copyright-free material–like Shutterstock or the National Archives–but none are so vast and localized as the Public Domain Project, launched this week by royalty-free video marketplace Pond5.
It’s a digital vault of 80,000 video clips, photos, sound recordings, and 3-D models, all embeddable and freely available to anyone who wants to reuse copyright-free images and media. They’re impeccably organized, labeled, and tagged, so you can find just the type of clip or image you’re looking for. Content ranges from footage of turn-of-the-century New York City to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech to Georges Méliès’ 1902 film, A Trip To The Moon, to historical animal photos (a shot of Enos, the first chimp to orbit the earth on a rocket; President Obama meeting Larry the Cat).
Among the gems on the site are 5,000 film clips that had previously been virtually inaccessible, living only in analog form in the National Archives outside of Washington. The Public Domain Project has digitized these for the first time, thanks in part to the $61 million in funding Pond5 raised last year from Accel Partners and Stripes Group.
Pond5 also offers a handy video primer on what the Public Domain is, exactly, how content ends up in the Public Domain, and usage rights regarding its content:
Visit the Public Domain Project to browse the digital library, and click through the slideshow above to see some highlights.