bloggers’ resources: where to find public domain old book illustrations in the web

i have penchant for old illustrations but hard copy is scarce. and lately, i’ve been visualizing my self doing some paper craft. and the credit goes to altered art craze. with all humbleness, i’m a lousy scrapbooker and i messed up my 2010 planner yesterday which i was thinking of turning into grandiose altered art opus; tsk. tsk. that’s why i turned digital. there’s always ctrl + alt + z in photoshop wonder.

when i began, to commit my self to, blogging and scour the web for photoshop tutorials, i set out to look for public domain photos that i can use for artwork and for rprt (short for red pen red temper, my indie blog) photos. so here are your five resources of public domain websites curating old book illustrations:

old book illustrations

old book illustrations

old book illustrations offers widget with randomly selected photos, for those who want to use the site’s scanned illustrations. it’s a great content resource for your blog. you can choose small, medium, or large format in categories like people and birds; to name a few.

blurb: this site is dedicated to providing you with a wide range of illustrations scanned from old books. most of these vintage pictures are originally wood engravings or woodcuts, fewer are etchings or metal engravings; visitors looking for nineteenth century or victorian clipart might just find it here. ~ from old book illustrations

widget sample:

grandma's graphics

grandma's graphics

grandma’s graphics offers artworks from illustrators like anne anderson, harry clarke, and sir john tenniel; to name a few.

blurb: from harry clarke to 1890′s storybooks, if you’re looking for unique images or clipart for use on your web pages or in other design or craft projects you’ve come to the right place. there’s a treasury here at grandma’s graphics that you probably won’t find anywhere else online. some of these graphics are quite large and take time to load, but be patient, they’re worth the wait. ~ from grandma’s graphics

old book art

old book art

old book art offers a wealth of scanned illustrations from old books like john tenniel: alice’s adventures in wonderland.

blurb: to provide & facilitate access to free illustrations: pictures, drawings, maps and other images scanned from antiquarian, public-domain books and other old documents. we have over 4,500 images in our gallery with more added regularly, all at no cost and most available at very high resolution. most of these we have scanned and edited ourselves. we will also screen and provide links to other high quality resources. ~ from old book art

la vista church of christ

la vista church of christ

la vista church of christ is the answer if you are looking for old illustrations from bible and children’s story book.

blurb: old bible story books for children contain a wealth of wonderful pictures useful for sermon illustrations, bible class presentations, and writings. the following are some from my collection whose copyright have expired and, hence, are in the public domain and are free to be used. ~ from la vista church of christ

from old books

from old books provides information about where the illustration is taken from.

blurb: over 3,100 high-resolution free images scanned from more than 180 different old or rare books, with extracts, by liam quin. ~ from


i think that curating a website dedicated for old book illustrations is a laborious task. so i thank these people for such a wonderful effort.

“this website is a labour of love — i love looking through old books and picking out the best images to offer to you, my visitors.” ~ from grandma’s graphics


suggested readings:

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