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Free Archival Images From BHL

By December 10th, 2015Image Resources

Wooly mammoth skeleton

The Mastodon giganteus of North America

High res version available at 1507 x 1068 pixels on Flickr

Free archival images to use on your creative projects

If you’re an artist, designer, teacher or professor that uses photos and illustrations of animals, nature and science then you’ll love exploring the free archival images made available through the hard work of The Biodiversity Heritage Library (and the generosity of its donors).

Here’s the simple yet noble vision the Biodiversity Heritage Library has for their site “Inspiring discovery through free access to biodiversity knowledge.”

I discovered. I was inspired.

At the time of writing there’s almost 90,000 free archival images you can use via the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s Flickr Photostream.

It’s also worth browsing their Flickr Sets which groups free archival images into topics as diverse as A History of Scandinavian Fishes to Extinct Birds and our old friend The Dodo.

Here’s some of our favourites so far:

Trinchese e Belloncidis

Trinchese e Belloncidis

Nope, no idea what this is either.

Simia Cycocephalus

Simia Cycocephalus

A side on portrait? No problem.

Le Galeopitheque

Le Galeopitheque

I climbed to the top. Now I’m here.

Sea mammals

Sea mammals

So do we.

You’re not restricted to illustrations either. There’s some lovely photographs in sets like The Human Side of Animals and Cassell’s Natural History.


Chimpanzee from Cassell’s Natural History

High res image available on Flickr (1976px x 2813px)

Dog and owner - free archival images

Two pals

A good note to end on.

Biodiversity Heritage Library Online

For more information about natural history images or donating to the Biodiversity Heritage Library check below.