In particular, these websites let you find images that can be used freely or for non-profit purposes, - though in some cases you must attribute the picture as requested. This is important because copyright applies to images just the same way that it applies to lyrics and sheet music. So if you want images to use, you need to either:
- Get specific permission from the copyright holder (which usually involves paying for the right to use it), or
- Use a picture that is in the public domain or from someone who has given permission on a general basis.
Christian web-sites and image librariesThis "is a freely available, regularly updated visual image internet resource. Designed for scholars, students, pastors, and religious educators, all of the images may be used for educational and/or religious non-profit purposes." It can be searched by keyword, scriptural reference, persons, icon and various other ways.
A digital library maintained by a Lutheran college in the USA. Has "more than 48,000 images of biblical illustrations, portraits of religious leaders, printers' devices, engravings of church buildings, and other theological topics. They are available for teaching, research, and other non-commercial purposes."
This Spanish language site has a wide variety of images organised by theme and also according to the Catholic liturgical calendar. The layout is clear enough for non-Spanish speakers to follow most sections. There is a statement on one page that "This clipart have been gathered. They are frequently used in parishes and Spanish religious communities. We don't know who are their authors." - so perhaps some images are subject to copyright.
Includes a range of black and white images that would be simple enough to be projected onto not-so-great screens.
A Flickr image-stream from MusicaSacra - black and white traditional illustrations.
copyright policy allows use for "non-commercial purposes which are personal or educational or religious" provided some conditions are met.
General purpose web-sites and image libraries
advanced option of Google Image Search. Select the correct option under “Usage Rights.”
FlickrThe search feature of this photo-sharing site lets you choose which license type to look for: eg "No known copyright restrictions"
After searching, you see small versions of the results. Hover the mouse over each one to bring up a small speech-bubble in the lower right corner. Click it to open the summary screen: if this says "All Right Reserved" then you aren't allowed to use the photo without getting permission. But if it says "Some rights reserved", you can click the link to find out what restrictions apply - often you can use picture provided you include a line saying where it came from.
Indexing and search-tools in these sites is likely to be less useful for finding images for church-use, unless you have some very specific purposes in mind (eg illustrating creation with space photos).
Other special-purpose image-search sites which may have useful content
- don't imply that NASA endorses a particular product, and
- include a credit-line of “NASA/courtesy nasaimages.org.”
library of nature-related digital media. All items can be used free-of-charge, but must be attributed.
few restrictions about attribution.