January 16, 2022

Search For Creative Commons Licensed Content With New CC Search (Beta)

From a Creative Commons Blog Post by Ryan Merkley:

One of the primary ways that our users find Creative Commons content is through our search page, which provides references to various repositories. The current CC search tool is accessed by nearly 600,000 people every month — but we can do better. There is no “front door” to the commons, and the tools people need to curate, share, and remix works aren’t yet available. We want to make the commons more usable, and this is our next step in that direction.



[Our emphasis] To build our beta, we settled on a goal to represent one percent of the known Commons, or about 10 million works, and we chose a vertical slice of images only, to fully explore a purpose-built interface that represented one type but many providers.

After a detailed review of potential sources, the available APIs, and the quality of their datasets, we selected the Rijksmuseum, Flickr, 500px, the New York Public Library as our initial sources. Later, after discussions with the Metropolitan Museum of Art regarding their collection of public domain works, which were released under CC0 on February 7, 2017, we incorporated their 200,000 CC0 images as well.


The prototype of this tool focuses on photos as its first media and uses open APIs in order to index the available works. The search filters allow users to search by license type, title, creator, tags, collection, and type of institution.

CC Search Beta also provides social features, allowing users to create and share lists as well as add tags and favorites to the objects in the commons, and save their searches. Finally, it incorporates one-click attribution, giving users pre-formatted copy for easy attribution.

Learn More, Read the Complete Blog Post

Direct to CC Search Beta

See Also: CC Search Developer Notes and Reflection (via Medium)
by Liza Daly

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.