New Free Photo, Music, Video Library


Whoooo needs free photos and music? I bet you do!

Our team gets asked a lot of questions about free PHOTOS and MUSIC for educational use on Moodle and YouTube and websites. We usually recommend searching Creative Commons. I'm excited to show this additional free resource to you!

The University of Minnesota is piloting offering content on three "Stock" sites for free until December. If feedback is positive, they will continue to offer this service. 

>>>January 2016 Update: The contract has been made permanent<<<

First of all the link:
Second of all the instructions:

  1. You MUST be connected to a University network (wifi or hardwire). (VPN that is configured for full tunnel or "Departmental Pools" also will do the trick.)
  2. You must enter from the link above, you cannot enter the site directly or it won't be free!
  3. Select from the following 3 sites of stock content: 
    1. VideoBlocks (video snippets you can insert into your vids as B roll and intro)
    2. AudioBlocks (music and stuff)
    3. GraphicStock (photos and illustrations)
  4.  No login required. Don't make an account.
  5. NOTE: My experience is that after 20 minutes the site will start asking me for a password. So I just go back to to restart whatever free magic was happening. OIT is aware of this bug, and if they continue to offer this service it would use the UMN login.
I am having so much fun finding things on this site to use for our videos and presentations. I spent a little time looking up stuff that might show you the potential in our Extension programming!

Looks like Minnesota water resources! There are tons of water-y scenic shots.

Health and Nutrition team, I know you like carrots! The GraphicStock site is full of vegetables. And flowers. TONS of flowers.

I found some corn, just for you AFNR. Oh and also, there are 8 pages of results for the word "soil." 

Look at this happy couple planting begonias. PLANTING BEGONIAS FO' FREE!

And if you like homogeneous school children, we've got you covered. This was literally the most diverse school children picture I could find. Well, something for them to improve on hopefully!

Also another weak spot: unhappy families. You want happy families hugging on a couch? JACKPOT! But for families in crisis or divorcing, fuhgettaboutit. I found this:

So with some significant caveats about diversity, I highly recommend spending a few minutes poking around the piloted stock resources. Anything you download before the pilot expires (approx. December 15, 2015) will remain yours to use for free! 

Be sure to fill out this super fast feedback survey to help OIT decide if they should offer this service in the future!

What did you find useful on these sites?


  1. So was this renewed for 2016? I really liked using images for our flyers,etc.

    1. Hi Jan!
      Yes it was renewed! Apparently there is an announcement "pending" but the site should work just as it did before December 15. Let me know if you have any trouble and I'm so glad you found a use for it!!

  2. A great resource...Thanks Amy!