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Multimedia Literacy

This research guide will help you to get started on your multimedia project.

Image and Video

Wanna Work Together? from Creative Commons on Vimeo.

  • Creative Commons licenses offer creators a spectrum of choices between retaining all rights and relinquishing all rights (public domain), an approach they call "Some Rights Reserved." It provides a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use content. You can search for Creative Commons licensed image, video, and audio content through a variety of sites, including Flickr (images), Google Images, Wikimedia Commons (media), YouTube (video), and more, and use the content in your own multimedia projects.
  • The Internet Archive was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include "offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format." Within its video collections, the Prelinger Archives and FedFlix collections contain many public domain videos.
  • Search through this list of open audiovisual resources, compiled by the University of Massachusetts Libraries.
  • Search for public domain images in The Commons through Flickr, which contains images from a number of participating institutions, including the Library of Congress, the British Library, and many others from around the world. 
  • Vimeo Creative Commons offers browsable, downloadable videos with different levels of Creative Commons licenses. 
  • To search for Creative Commons licensed videos in Youtube, you can include the words ", creativecommons" after your search term (for example, "cats, creative commons"). You can also use the filter feature in Youtube to choose Creative Commons licensed content once you've done a search (the filter will be located just under the search box).
  • The Student Multimedia Design Center offers VideoTraxx royalty-free stock footage. The 34 DVD set contains 3200+ royalty-free stock video clips. You can also download VideoTraxx stock footage from a server-- ask about how to do this at the Center's service desk. 
  • Find free stock images and video at AllTheFreeStock.
  • Film Terms Glossary by AMC's Film Site.
  • Glossary of Common Video Terms by Vimeo Video School. 
  • Media Research Guide, complied by the University of Delaware Library, includes Video Search Engines and lists sources of streaming media.
  • Unsplash offers free, high resolution images that do not require permission to use. Attribution is not required but encouraged.
  • You can download YouTube videos using Google Chrome is the recommended browser for using the  service. After pasting in the YouTube link, look for a blue link that states "download video in browser". Click this link, and then click the green "Download" button that appears on the page to download a SD MP4 file.  If you prefer to use the Mozilla Firefox browser, you can instead try adding the Video DownloadHelper Firefox extension to download Youtube videos. 


Most of these sites provide free downloads of Creative Commons liscensed music that you can then remix and reuse in your projects.

  • If you're a musician searching for samples, a cappella tracks, or remixes, search through ccMixter, a "community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want."
  • dig.ccMixter curates the music in ccMixter, allowing you to easily search for music that you can include in your multimedia projects.
  • The Free Music Archive contains a compilation of high quality legal downloads that you can use in your multimedia projects. All of the musical selections have been hand-picked by established audio curators.
  • Jamendo, which bills itself as "the world’s biggest free music library," is a collaborative database of songs that are licensed under Creative Commons. You can search for songs by genre and keyword using their search engine. They also offer commercial licensing of certain musical selections. 
  • SoundCloud is "an audio platform that enables sound creators to upload, record, promote and share their originally-created sounds." To download clips, you can add a free Chrome extension to your browser. You can also copy and paste the URL to a free web based downloader like
  • The Free Sound Project is a collaborative database of sounds that are licensed under Creative Commons.
  • OpSound, one of the pioneers in the Creative Commons-music universe, is a music aggregator that provides links to a vast collection of Creative Commons licensed music from many genres. 
  • Check out the BBC Sound Effects Library, a comprehensive collection of sound effects on 40 CD-Audio discs.
  • You can create MP3 sound files from MP4 video files (such as videos from YouTube) by using Audacity.

Release Forms

If you are planning on filming people, it is important to get their signed consent. Here are sample release forms that you can use.

Copyright and Intellectual Property

  • This copyright handout, which was modified from a lecture that Renee Hobbes gave at the University of Delaware, succinctly summarizes copyright and fair use. Hobbes is an internationally-recognized authority on media literacy education.
  • This University of Delaware Library subject guide on copyright offers an extensive list of resources on copyright, intellectual property, and fair use.
  • Creative Commons is a "nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright." They provide free licenses to give creators the freedom to license their creative work how they want, "so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof."
  • American University's Center for Media and Social Impact, which is affiliated with their School of Communication, has informative resources on fair use in online video.
  • Duke University's Center for the Study of the Public Domain's mission is to "promote research and scholarship on the contributions of the public domain to speech, culture, science and innovation, to promote debate about the balance needed in our intellectual property system and to translate academic research into public policy solutions." The Center has an informative resource in comic form called Bound By Law? You can flip through the HTML version online.

Other University of Delaware Resources

  • Search for over 25,000 films in DVD, Blu-ray, VHS, and legacy formats in the University of Delaware Library's Film and Video Collection
  • For general technology questions, contact the IT Help Center
  • For help with a paper or multimedia project, make an appointment with the University of Delaware's Writing Center. The Multimedia Writing Center is located adjacent to the Student Multimedia Design Center in the lower level of the Library.