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Science Images and Videos: Online Government Resources

This guide provides assistance in locating government visual materials related to agriculture, astronomy, biology, conservation, earth sciences, energy, engineering, health sciences and medicine, and other related fields.


Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. Aerial view of Washington, D.C. from the U.S. Capitol Dome, showing two Library of Congress buildings: the Thomas Jefferson Building (left) and the James Madison Building. [between 1980 and 2006]. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

Visual materials and videos produced by federal government entities are available in the public domain and, therefore, free from copyright restrictions. Even though the image sources highlighted in this guide are found on government websites, it is always good practice to make sure that the image is not protected by restrictions for reuse. One way to do this is to look for the artist credit and copyright symbol (©). If a copyright statement exists, you should assume that the image is protected by copyright.

If you wish to use a restricted image, you will need to seek permission from the copyright owner. After obtaining permission, be sure to include the image credit and source along with the image.

The resources in this guide are organized by the broad scientific classes. Since many of the government sites are interdisciplinary in nature, there may be some overlap. To search across all government agencies at once for either images or videos, please use the search. From those search results, you will generally be taken to the image hosted on the Flickr or Instagram account for the agency, along with citations.

About the Science Section

Part of the Science & Business Reading Room at the Library of Congress, the Science Section is the starting point for conducting research at the Library of Congress in the subject areas of science, medicine and engineering. Here, reference specialists in specific subject areas of science and engineering  assist patrons in formulating search strategies and gaining access to the information and materials contained in the Library's rich collections of science, medicine, and engineering materials.