Favorite Lesser Known Open Content Sources

You likely reach for well-known sources to find open content for your educational projects- Creative Commons Search, Wikimedia Commons, the Free Music Archive etc.

There are many more, perhaps niche or specialized collections out there- what are ones that open educators may not know about that they may find useful? Any reccommended site ought to clearly identify the licenses under which content is shared,

For example, look at the Open Peeps graphic library by Pablo Stanley


Use Open Peeps is a library of hand drawn vector parts that can be used to create character images for your projects, ones that focus on representation of diversity. Download existing “peeps” or download the full library to build your own by mixing and matching character elements that produce close to 600,000 possible combinations.

Everything is licensed Creative Commons CC0.

Try Open Peeps at https://www.openpeeps.com/

What special open content sources do you know of that are worth sharing?

I love this. I’ve been playing with it for a while, so much fun! :slight_smile:

I had never heard about it. Thank you for sharing. I can definitely see myself using it in the future.

The resource that I recently find myself going back to is from one of the 2019 OE Award winners.

The Open Faculty Patchbook

There are so many things I like about it:

  • First and foremost, the content. Focusing on the stories of teachers using OER in the classroom. Finding ways to implement Open Pedagogy.
  • It’s a collaborative effort. Built by the community for the community.
  • Structured as building blocks, so there’s no end, it can, and hopefully will, continue to grow endlessly.
  • Love the graphics. Simple, attractive and clean.
  • A downloadable open textbook was created with a compendium of these resources. Open Faculty Patchbook

… and now a version for learners is being created:
The Open Learner Patchbook

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Glad you like it and find it useful @marcela Here’s another similar project with more illustration possibilities

The concept that you can combine parts to create a unique piece of illustration, like playing with legos, is such fun.

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Blush.design is great! I see the same artist that did the Open Peeps site (Pablo Stanley) is a contributor

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Back in January, CCCOER had a blog post, Looking for Images that Reflect Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which shared some resources that were shared by the CCCOER email list:


That is a very nice example Marcela! the analogy to the quilting gives a very warm feeling, something made of different shapes, colors, patterns, materials… a good choice for curating OER and motivating people to participate.

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I cannot resist a clever dog with attitude. Follow Sparkles the OA Dog in Twitter for gems like this:

The bio for Sparkles reads:

Sparkles the OA Dog is looking to the horizon of scholar-led, community-built & community-owned Open Access. Will retweet for biscuits. All barks my own.

While fun, Sparkles is doing serious work spreading the news for ScholarLed:

a consortium of five scholar-led, not-for-profit, open access book publishers that was formed in 2018. Individually we comprise Mattering Press, meson press, Open Book Publishers, Open Humanities Press, and punctum books, and collectively we are seeking to develop powerful, practical ways for small-scale, scholar-led Open Access presses to grow and flourish in a publishing landscape that is changing rapidly. We want to make sure that change is for the better.

Learn more about the Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) effort to help small publishers to work with large organizations.

Go Sparkles Go!

I almost wrote a new post that was almost the same question! I have one to share and went looking for the mention here of Open Peeps (still a favorite). We always hear about Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels, etc but there are some interesting specialized collections out there.

For example…

If you are looking for some old style images, like Victorian era, check out Old Book Illustrations, an open collection of images scanned from very old books that are in the public domain. Just look into my brain:

Frontal cross-section of the encephalon illustration by Nicolas-Henri Jacob from Traité complet de l’anatomie de l’homme, vol. 3 (1867)

The licenses of these images are not explicit, but my reading of the terms of use (IANAL) is that these are from works old enough to be in the public domain.

I can certainly see potential use for projects needing some antiquated looking media or perhaps for some history related OE work.

It would be great to hear more of people’s favorite specialized or discipline specific collections of open licensed media.