Skip to Main Content

Theater: Media

Recommended resources for research in Performing Arts - Theatre

Image Sources

Google Advanced Image Search - Use the “Usage Rights” field to limit by license type.

Ex. Historical costume musical

Creative Commons Search - Allows you to search for CC-licensed material by media type

Ex. LED Lighting


Ex. A Costume Design

Flickr Advanced Search - Choose “Only search within Creative Commons-Licensed Content.”

Ex. “costume design”

Library of Congress:  - A free “digital record of American history and creativity.” Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs Online Catalog - Photographs, prints, drawings, posters, and architectural drawings, and more.

Ex: Drafting: Theatre Scenery
   -> Search Dropdown menu: Photo, Print, Drawing
"Drafting Theatre Scenery digital file from original neg."

NYPL Digital Gallery - Illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs, and more, from the New York Public Library.

Ex: Theatre props

Wikimedia Commons - Browse or search for freely reusable images.

Ex: led lightingWikipedia Public Domain Images - List of public domain image sources on the web.

AU Libraries Library Guide: Visual Resources Scholes Library: Public Image Collections

Video Streaming

Free Video Resources

Public Domain Movies (

A consolidated site of feature films, shorts, and cartoons that have fallen into the public domain either by virtue of being created before 1924 or the copyright having lapsed for some other reason.

Collection Highlights:

  1. Fritz Lang’s classic film-noir Scarlet Street (1945)
  2. George Romero’s ur-zombie film Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Search Note: Unfortunately, this site lacks an internal search feature. However, you can search the collection via Google with the following search command:  site: followed by a space + your "search term" 
for example:  
site: "horror"

Snagfilms (

A streaming platform with over 2,000 independent feature films and documentaries. Looks and runs like Netflix but some content contains ads at the beginning of playback.

Collection Highlights:

  • Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty and Pierce Rafferty’s documentary indictment of the nuclear age The Atomic Cafe (1982)
  • Lucy Walker’s exploration of Amish youthful transgression The Devil’s Playground (2002)

Library of Congress National Screening Room (

An initiative by LoC to make its moving-image collections accessible for streaming and download. Wide variety of titles ranging from silent films by Thomas Edison and D.W. Griffith to feature films and shorts from the 1940s and 50s

Collection Highlights:

  • Ida Lupino’s taut, masterfully crafted noir The Hitchhiker (1953)
  • Oscar Micheaux’s landmark work of African American silent cinema Within Our Gates (1919)

Internet Archive’s Moving Image Archives (

An old standard at this point but full of great material for those willing to do some digging.

Collection Highlight:

  • The Prelinger Collection – Perhaps the the world’s most comprehensive collection of educational, ephemeral, propaganda, and industrial films ever assembled. A crucial repository for studying the culture of the 20th century.