Creative Content for All

Baltimore streetThe idea behind the new “Be Here: Main Street” project, a partnership with the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program, is that regular people can contribute to the cultural landscape, sharing stories that help give others a sense of time and place. It’s not only an effort to add more diverse voices to our local and national narratives, but also a way of legitimizing the value of non-traditional histories, based on lived experiences and accrued knowledge. Be Here stories offer an authentic glimpse into the history, traditions, and culture of a community.

Accordingly, one of the goals of the project is to empower new content creators to produce their own stories, using free and open platforms. It’s a big ask, given the complexity of various software types and the sticky web of digital copyright laws, but we’re paving a path of least resistance for novice storytellers with a series of tools and solutions to make the process of editing and publishing content a bit less intimidating.

Whether you’re a media-producing pro or an absolute novice, a consolidated list of Creative Commons resources is a must! Here are a few of the best places on the web to find public domain and Creative Commons assets. Have additional go-to stops for CC content? Tweet us @museWeb and tag your post with #bHereMainSt

Creative Commons and Public Domain Resources

Example of how to credit an image.
This is a good example of how to attribute a Flickr CC image. Thrift Store Books,” photo by Kate Geraets. Flickr Creative Commons. Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0). You could just include “(CC BY-NC 2.0)” and not spelled out the license; however, I like to make the credit easy to understand. 

To keep the text brief, I’ve included live links to the original source and the license information. If an image link isn’t possible, include the long form of the url. Ask yourself, “Can the viewer find that original resource again?” Finally, if you’ve downloaded the image to your computer or device, be sure to save the image with a name that captures the relevant information for appropriate attribution later.