Copyright-free Media

Many people use images, movie clips, and music every day in various ways. If you want to find media that is free and open to use then this blog post is for you!

Copyright varies from country to country but usually has a long lifetime, especially in the U.S. Materials that are in the public domain are no longer protected by copyright and are open and free to use. And Creative Commons is a way for artists and any kind of creators to declare their own copyright restrictions on their work, usually in a way that makes it easy for others to reuse their works.

The following are resources that contain copyright-free materials that are available for use in your projects. They may be in the public domain or they may be under some type of Creative Commons license, including CC0 (“No Rights Reserved”). It’s always up to you to determine the ways you can use, reuse, or remix content, but these sites help provide you with materials that are generally copyright-free.

Multiple media resources: This site makes it easy to search for Creative Commons-licensed materials across many other websites, including ones exclusively focused on music, images, and video.

Internet Archive: This is a non-profit collection of books, movies, software, music, and more. It also saves various webpages over time in the “Internet Archive Wayback Machine.”


dig CC mixter: This website helps users to create and share mixes and samples that are Creative Commons-licensed.

Wikipedia Sound/list: Wikipedia provides access to a wide range of music that is either in the public domain or Creative Commons-licensed. While the site indicates that the music is “free,” it is important to note that this is not synonymous with “in the Public Domain,” so you will need to review the license information for the music to ensure you attribute it properly.

FreeSound: This is a great site for finding sound effects, noises, and other audio samples. It requires registration to download audio files, but registration is free.

University of Texas – Digital History: This site contains historical music for educational use that their research has indicated is copyright free. Much of it is older recordings of popular music.

Images: Photographers donate high-definition photos to these sites for anyone to use for any purpose.


Powerpoint Animations

Below are sample PowerPoint files showing simple animations for advertising purposes. In PowerPoint you can “Export” these files as videos for display on digital signs.

Simple Animation 1

Simple Animation 2 with Video

Simple Animation 3

And here are documents showing the menu items used in PowerPoint for animations and step-by-step instructions on how to create a simple animation.

Creating text animation with PowerPoint

Creating text animation with PowerPoint – step by step

Coding Interest Group


  • Background and formation of the group

The Coding Interest Group was started at the Library in February 2016 as a way for interested staff to learn about computer programming. After a foray into learning HTML and CSS via textbook and online courses, the group shifted to proposing, planning, and executing technology projects that could benefit the Library, including projects on digital signage and an intranet using Raspberry Pi units.

  • How we approached learning HTML & CSS

HTML and CSS: A Visual Quickstart Guide

Codecademy HTML & CSS


  • Raspberry Pi & Linux

Raspberry Pi 3 Kit

  • Digital signage project
  • Collaboration software for code sharing and version control

  • Publications and presentations stemming from the Coding Interest Group

“The Practice of Solidarity: Forming a Collaborative Coding Interest Group at AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library,” A co-authored chapter in Applying Library Values to Emerging Technology: Tips and Techniques for Advancing within Your Mission, Eds. Peter Fernandez and Kelly Tilton, ACRL Publications | Expected Spring 2017

Adobe After Effects


What is After Effects?

After effects is a digital visual effects & motion graphics application developed by Adobe Systems and used in the post-production process of film making and television production. Among other things, After Effects can be used for keying, tracking, compositing and animation.

Where is everything in After Effects?

Project Panel:  Stores all of your media data & files. It is Located to the top left of screen interface. It provides basic information about your media files.

Composition Panel: Serves as a monitor to view all media files & preview of project timeline.

Render Queue Panel: Here is where you are able to view layers & rendering of your composition elements. Placing files in numerical order is very critical for viewing them in the composition panel.

Timeline: This is where your composition & project elements are all laid out to manipulate for final product.

How to Import footage?

You can import footage by either double clicking the Project panel area or click File > Import > File or Multiple files. Clicking & dragging from the Finder is also available for use.

How to Create A New Composition?

Always create a new (Video) composition first before adding any other items. You can either click & drag media clip(s) down to the composition icon & it will set composition based current footage settings. Also you may click Composition at the top of the screen—à New Composition.

Pulling Images & files into timeline?

Select image and/or files in project panel box then drag onto composition in comp panel. If you drag it on the composition video window you may choose “where” to place it, if dragged to the timeline you may choose “when” to place it.

Add special effect to a composition?

Look into special effects menu panel located to the top right side of interface. A vast list of special effects options will be available. Select by double clicking, allow a bit of time for render (depending on which effect) & view it in timeline.