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World Digital Library

UNESCO and 32 partner institutions will launch the World Digital Library, a web site that features unique cultural materials from libraries and archives from around the world, at UNESCO Headquarters on 21 April. The site will include manuscripts, maps, rare books, films, sound recordings, and prints and photographs. It will provide unrestricted public access, free of charge, to this material.”–From UNESCO post.  And the United States Library of Congress is one of the partners.

With some reasonable restrictions, these are free large photographs available for personal use or for use on a web site.  To use a photograph to promote a product for sale or to promote your business or organization you need to contact the publisher for permission and there will be a fee.  There are over 2,600 images available.

FREE: Federal Resources for Educational Excellence

This is a fantastic site that “makes it easier to find teaching and learning resources from the federal government.  More than 1,500 federally supported teaching and learning resources are included from dozens of federal agencies. New sites are added regularly.” 

The site is extremely well-organized and easy to search.  Choose a topic from the subject list and find great information about everything ranging from  scientists, countries of the world, history, and jazz to ethnic studies and literature.

An Era of Progress and Promise : Education and Religion in Post-Emancipation America

An Era of Progress and Promise is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of education, the development of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the Negro Business League, religion in the United States, or African-American society in post-Emancipation America.”–From the web site.  You can read the book online here in this database, as well as find profiles of signifigant institutions like churches and schools, and find biographical information on some influential African-Americans from this period of American history.

Free Clip Art

I often have students looking for clip art for their PowerPoint presentations or reports, and since the Clip Organizer in Word doesn’t always behave as it should, I often end up directing them to a Google image search.  The problem with that?  Often those images are copyrighted.  So, here are two sites that offer thousands of free clip art images in the public domain:

WP Clip Art –

Open Clip Art Library –

LIFE Photo Archive

From the site: “Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.”  I highly recommend doing a search for ‘Memphis’.  Good stuff.

World Architecture Community

From the Scout Report: “The World Architecture Community website is the genuine article, and even a cursory look reveals that people are posting items to this site from Bangalore to Buffalo. New users can go to the left-hand side of the site to register, and then they can look through the various architectural directories, which include architects, buildings, critics, and theorists. In the buildings area, the buildings available for consideration are divided into more detailed thematic categories, including ‘Work Places’, ‘Public Buildings’, and ‘Public Infrastructure’. Moving on, the site also includes an excellent section dedicated to ‘Theory and Issues’. Here visitors can read about sustainable development, semiotics, design, and urban issues. All told, this site is a tremendous resource for architects, urban planners, and students of cities in general.”

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008.

SurLaLune Fairy Tales

SurLaLune Fairy Tales is a great resource with over 1,200 fairy tales and 1,500 illustrations.  The major fairy tales are annotated, with histories, interpretations and links to similar tales across cultures.  Click on “How to Search the SurLaLane Website” for links to timelines, quotations and much more.

Free Sound Effects

Soungle is an easy way to search for free sound effects.  Just be aware that you might want to play with your keywords–A search for ‘airplane’ only has 1 result, whereas a search for ‘plane’ has 10 and ‘jet’ has another 10.  All audio clips are easily downloadable.

The Dog Days of Summer

Being a native Memphian, I know how just hot it can get here.  All my life, I have heard of the “dog days of summer.” But to be honest, I had no idea what the phrase actually meant.  This link answered my question, and, perhaps, it will answer it for others, as well.

New Deal Web Guide

For those interested in the New Deal programs of the 1930s, the Library of Congress has created this guide to selected library resources on the topic.  Links are available to a number of digitized materials, including photographs, posters, sheet music, and much more.  Users can browse the collection by LOC division, New Deal program name, or WPA program name.

World Monuments Watch

Thanks to Caroline Barnett, Cordova Branch Manager, for passing this along:

“Every two years, WMF announces the World Monuments Watch list of 100 Most Endangered Sites to call international attention to cultural heritage sites around the world threatened by neglect, vandalism, armed conflict, climate change, or natural disaster.”–From the Website.  Photographs and information about each monument are included.



Although still in beta testing, Lookybook shows a great deal of promise.  This site is a place to view picture books, cover to cover.  It’s a great way for parents, librarians and others to review items to make informed choices.  With a free registration, users can rate, review and comment on individual books and receive frequent email updates when new items are added.  Users can also create their own “bookshelves” to organize and share their favorites.

Thanks to Mary Seratt for her added evaluation of the site!

NYPL Digital Library

“Free and open on-line access to hundreds of thousands of digital images” from the New York Public Library.

Presidential Campaign Finance Map

The Federal Election Commission offers this map which provides information on each Presidential candidate’s campaign expenditures and information on campaign donors.