Openverse is a tool that allows openly licensed and public domain works to be discovered and used by everyone.
Openverse searches across more than 300 million images from open APIs and the Common Crawl dataset. It goes beyond simple search to aggregate results across multiple public repositories into a single catalog, and facilitates reuse through features like machine-generated tags and one-click attribution.
Currently Openverse only searches images and audio, with search for video provided through External Sources. But we plan to add additional media types such as open texts and 3D models, with the ultimate goal of providing access to the estimated 2.5 billion CC licensed and public domain works on the web. All of our code is open source (Openverse frontend, Openverse API, Openverse Catalog) and we welcome community contribution. You can see what we’re currently working on.
Openverse is the successor to CC Search which was launched by Creative Commons in 2019, after its migration to WordPress in 2021. You can read more about this transition in the official announcements from Creative Commons and WordPress. We remain committed to our goal of tackling discoverability and accessibility of open access media.
Openverse is built on top of a catalog that indexes CC-licensed and public domain content from selected sources. Learn more about our sources here.
However, there are many sources of CC-licensed and public domain media which we aren’t able to surface results from within the Openverse interface yet. This might be because they do not offer a public API, or that our contributors have not yet had time to integrate them into Openverse. These are valued sources and we want to make sure that you are able to find the best openly licensed materials possible, regardless of where they are located.
You can find links to external sources at the bottom of every Openverse search results page; on pages for searches which return no results; and on pages for media types we do not yet support but intend to.
This functionality also allows us to start conversations and build relationships with sources that may like to be included in Openverse in the future. Finally, we can also offer external sources of media types we do not include in Openverse yet, but plan to.
Can I suggest new external sources?
Yes, please! Create an issue in our GitHub repository or send us an email and tell us about the new sources you’d like to see included.
Why did you build this?
For many years, Creative Commons has offered its users a dedicated search portal for searching platforms that have CC licensing filters built in. In fact, this is still maintained at oldsearch.creativecommons.org.
For users of the legacy CC Meta Search site, the "External Sources" feature on Openverse will look familiar. The goal was to ensure that the functionality is not lost, but is updated and embedded within our new search engine for openly licensed content. In addition, the "External Sources" feature builds on this functionality, allowing us to quickly add new external sources as we discover them, and support new content types in the future, as we expand.
We hope you enjoy, and if you have suggestions for improvement, leave us feedback.