British Library

The newest of the copyright-free image libraries in this story, the British Library’s archive on Flickr has over a million free images and illustrations to browse through.

See also: Best stock photos & best stock images

The images are drawn from 17th-, 18th- and 19th-Century books in the Library’s collection – which are based in its main building opposite the Digital Arts offices and next to St Pancras train station in London, and its archive in Boston Spa in Yorkshire.

Catalogued by dedicated volunteers, the archive is divided into themes including book covers, cycling, illustrated lettering, comic art, ships or children's book illustration

If you’re in a hurry, start with the Highlights collection.

Image: Illustration by Stanley Llewellyn Wood from Doctor Nikola, etc by Guy Newell Boothby.

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