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Public Domain Images – Wellcome Library of London Releases 100,000 Images to the Public

Thousands of years of visual culture made free through Wellcome Public Domain Images

A few days ago over 100,000 public domain images ranging from ancient medical manuscripts to etchings by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Francisco Goya were released for free download as hi-res images on the Wellcome Library of London website WellcomeImages.org.

These public domain images are drawn from the historical holdings of the world-renowned Wellcome Library, the images are being released under the Creative Commons-Attribution only (CC-BY) licence. This means that all the historical images can be downloaded and freely copied, distributed, edited, manipulated, and built upon as you wish, for personal or commercial use as long as the source Wellcome Library is attributed.

When I first saw the announcement I jumped for joy at the release of 100,000 more images to the public domain! At second glance, I was not so excited. As usual the images are hosted in a complex website that is extremely hard to navigate and very cumbersome to operate. There is no simple way to view all of the images and it is like trying to buy a car to actually download one of the high resolution images. Why do these people build me up just to let me down! As always there is more than one way to access these images and I aim to make these public domain images more accessible to you the public.

Just to show you how complicated it is to actually download one of the images follow the instructions below.

 

7 Steps to Downloading Images from Wellcome Library

Wellcome Images

First you have to find the images you want. Then you click on "Download hi-res Images".

Wellcome Images

Agree to the Terms

Then you have to fill in why you are downloading the image, the extremely annoying reCAPTCHA, that I just can't ever seem to get correct. AHHH! And then finally agree to the terms and conditions set forth by Wellcome Images.

Agree to the Terms

Download Link

Then you are presented with a download link, which you click on.

Download Link

Download Zip

If that weren't annoying enough, now you are taken to another page where you have to click on another "download" button.

Download Zip

Save the Zip File

Now there is a ZIP file that was auto-generated for you to download the images you chose. Save it to your computer, in your folder of choice.

Save the Zip File

UnZip the Archive Folder

Now you have to unzip the file that you downloaded.

UnZip the Archive Folder

Enjoy Your Download

Now your downloaded images are in the folder that was unzipped. Yikes! and I complained about "right click save as", this is way more complicated than a right click!

Enjoy Your Download

I hope it was worth it!

Fortunately the images are very nice and high resolution. So, maybe it's worth all of the work. For me, this is just too complicated! So, for now, enjoy browsing and downloading these images from the Wellcome Images site. Hopefully I'll be able to crack the code and give you an easier option than the one they offer.

I hope it was worth it!

Here are some sample images from the Wellcome Library.

wellcome-library-public-domain-images-vintage-illustrations-100k-0011

Chastity Belt

Chastity Belt

wellcome-library-public-domain-images-vintage-illustrations-100k-0009 wellcome-library-public-domain-images-vintage-illustrations-100k-0008 wellcome-library-public-domain-images-vintage-illustrations-100k-0007 wellcome-library-public-domain-images-vintage-illustrations-100k-0006 wellcome-library-public-domain-images-vintage-illustrations-100k-0005 wellcome-library-public-domain-images-vintage-illustrations-100k-0004 wellcome-library-public-domain-images-vintage-illustrations-100k-0003 wellcome-library-public-domain-images-vintage-illustrations-100k-0002 wellcome-library-public-domain-images-vintage-illustrations-100k-0001

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