Category Archives: Public Domain Sources

Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives (SOVA)

Website: Smithsonian Institution: Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives


Rights Statement:

Available Materials: The Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives (SOVA) is the summation of digitized content in the Smithsonian Collection across all of its affiliated institutions. This includes many different prominent topics in American history; from Civil Rights/Social History, to culture (music, art, etc.), to posters. The website describes their collection as follows: “Access 26421 descriptions of personal papers, manuscripts, photographs, oral histories, films, works of art and organizational records.” There are featured collections that one can use to narrow down what they need, whether by topic or type of object in the collection.

Prelinger Archives (

Website Name: Internet Archive (Prelinger Archives)


Rights Statement (General):

Rights Statement (Archive-Specific):

Available Materials: The Prelinger Archives contains a vast collection of amateur, industrial and home movies “acquired since 2002.” In addition, this archives serves to upload higher-quality versions of submitted videos. It serves as a place for these films to be preserved, since its niche may not serve other archives as well. To me, this is an insight into American culture since home movie devices have increased in availability. There is a partnership present where certain select videos can be used as stock footage, facilitated by Getty Images as well.

J. Paul Getty Museum

Name: J. Paul Getty Museum


Rights Statement:

Available Materials on Getty: This website mostly consists of collections from collections. This primarily consists of art work: that being sculptures, paintings, photographs, and other artifacts spanning from BCE-the present. According to the “Image Use” section of their grouping filters, Getty has 52% (most likely rounded up from somewhere in 51 percent) “free to use” imagery, while 49% requires permission to use in certain ways. These objects come from all across the world, and this resource seems to be the summation of different eras and places across human history.