Meet the Institutions now on Unsplash

Alex Begin
Unsplash Blog
Published in
6 min readJan 30, 2020


Back in July, we launched Unsplash for Education — connecting students and teachers everywhere to powerful, inspiring visuals.

Since then, we realized there was an opportunity for us to do more to connect our community to inspiring imagery and foster education. So we’ve been busy working with institutions from around the world, to bring more visibility to their digitized cultural archives by making a selection of the content available on Unsplash.

From historical images of soldiers during World War I to baroque paintings, we’re excited that these renowned institutions have shared rich content on Unsplash, making it easier for students and the general public to find new meaning in their archives, creating presentations, artwork, reports, and more. By sharing a selection of their archives on the platform, they are instantly connected to an audience of over 300 million people a month ready to engage with their content.

So without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the notable organisations now on Unsplash:

New York Public Library

On a mission to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen communities, The New York Public Library has provided essential access to information, ideas and education for more than a century. On Unsplash, our community can now find historical images from World War I, the Civil Rights Movement and more, on their official profile.

Left: 1965. James McDivitt, Ed White, Extravehicular Activity (EVA), Gemini 4 [Spacewalk] Right: Singer James Brown being greeted by fans upon his arrival at Kaduna Airport, 1970

Library of Congress

From compelling images of current events and concerts to rich historical photos, the Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections. On Unsplash, their account offers images of African American women change-makers, presidential portraits, and much more.

Left: [Abraham Lincoln, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing front]. Photograph by photographer Alexander Gardner, [photograph taken 1863; printed later and c1900]. Right: 14-yr. old striker, Fola La Follette, and Rose Livingston. Glass negative from the George Grantham Bain Collection, 1913. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division. Photograph shows suffrage and labor activist Flora Dodge “Fola” La Follette (1882–1970), social reformer and missionary Rose Livingston, and a young striker during a garment strike in New York City in 1913.


Aiming to transform the world with culture, Europeana is Europe’s digital platform for cultural heritage. Europeana is building on Europe’s rich heritage and making it easier for people to access work from European archives, museums and libraries. Europeana provides access to over 50 million digitized items on its platform, and a selection of this rich resource is now available directly on Unsplash.

Left: Isabella Clara Eugenia, infante of Spain (1566–1633). Wife of Archduke Albrecht of Austria. Painted in the 17th Century. Provided by Rijksmuseum, Netherlands. PD for Public Domain Mark 2 Right: Ladies exercising at the balance beam. Circa 1909. Creator: Heinrich Hamann. Provided by Museum of Arts and Crafts Hamburg. PD for Public Domain Mark 2

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Photo Library

Aiming to advance science from the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the sun, NOAA’s Photo Library gives a voice to the scientists, officers, and engineers within the agency. From rare photographs of the Titanic underwater, to images of rare marine species, the NOAA Photo Library account on Unsplash offers our community a rare peak into our ever-changing environment.

Left Shipwreck of the schooner E. B. Allen sunk by collision. Right: The Stars peak through the clouds at Mount Rushmore

British Library

As the national library of the United Kingdom, the British Library offers a collection of over 170 million items — which includes artefacts from every age of written civilisation — all open to the public for research, inspiration, and enjoyment. On their account on Unsplash, find everything from topical maps to rich historical photographs of war.

Left: Abstract Pattern Right: 1914, World War 1. Highland Territorials in a trench. Photographer: H. D. Girdwood.

Birmingham Museums Trust

The Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birmingham’s vibrant past. From watercolour paintings to pre-Raphaelite pieces, their official Unsplash profile offers a wide range of renowned artistic works.

Left: The Travelling Companions, 1862. Artist: Augustus Leopold Egg Right: The Blind Girl, 1856. Artist: John Everett Millais, Oil on canvas

National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute leads, conducts and supports cancer research across the United States to advance scientific knowledge and help all people live longer, healthier lives. Their account on Unsplash provide a range of medical and public health photographs that help to convey meaning, describe concepts, and tell stories.

Left: Cancer Surgeons Right: Lasers are used to position a patient model wearing a short face mask in a computed tomography (CT) scanner to obtain images of a tumour before radiation therapy. 2010

Austrian National Library

The Austrian National Library has a rich history dating as far back as the 14th century — and now offers a bridge between Austrian’s past and present. Showcasing photographs of the Viennese Waltz to images of World War II on their Unsplash account, their digital archive is the largest documentation centre in Austria, with over 2 million objects.

Left: 1939, Wiesenthal “Viennese Waltz” Right: World War One Destruction, Altar in the church of Segusino

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC works to protect the United States from health, safety and security threats by fighting disease and supporting communities to do the same. Their Public Health Image Library offers an organized, universal electronic gateway to useful and important public health imagery — and a selection of these images are now available on Unsplash.

Left: This 2013 image depicts a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientist harvesting H7N9 virus, grown for the purpose of sharing with partner laboratories for research purposes. Note that he was wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), which included gloves, a full body smock, and a head covering, consisting of a face shield, and a head covering, providing him with clean, filtered air. Right: This illustration depicted a three-dimensional (3D), computer-generated image, of a group of Gram-positive, Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. The artistic recreation was based upon scanning electron microscopic (SEM) imagery.

United States Geological Survey

The United States Geological Survey serves the United States by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth. Through their official profile on Unsplash, you can now find and download aerial images of everywhere from the deserts near Egypt to the Foxe Basin of northern Canada.

Left: Along the southern coast of the Netherlands, sediment-laden rivers have created a massive delta of islands and waterways in the gaps between coastal dunes. After unusually severe spring tides devastated this region in 1953, the Dutch built an elaborate system of dikes, canals, dams, bridges, and locks to hold back the North Sea. Right: A serene gradient from red to smoky blue-gray seems to mask a chaotic scene underneath, expressing a wide range of emotion. Looking like a NASA closeup of Jupiter, this image reveals sediment in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast.

McGill Library

McGill University is one of Canada’s best-known institutions of higher learning and one of the leading universities in the world. Their Library advances teaching, learning and research by providing outstanding collections. From portraits of notable Canadians to illustrations of local wildlife, a selection of their archives are now available to download directly on Unsplash.

Left: Sir George Duncan Gibb (1821–1876) was a Canadian physician, surgeon, and writer who was born in Montreal and studied medicine at McGill College (graduated 1846). He was a founder of the St. Lawrence School of Medicine, where he lectured on comparative anatomy. Before leaving Canada to settle in London in 1853, he was consulting physician to the Montreal Dispensary. Right: Woolly-necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus)

Museums Victoria

As Australia’s largest public museum organisation, Museums Victoria’s collections are an invaluable record of Victoria’s environmental and cultural history — creating a sense of wonder and awe for generations. And now, inspiring images of showcasing everything from bygone transportation to a history of aeronautics are available to download on their official Unplash profile.

Left: Nurses Marching, 7th Australian General Hospital, Sister Isabel Erskine Plante, World War II, circa 1942 Right: Computer System — Apple Lisa 2 (modified to Macintosh XL)

Boston Public Library

Considered a pioneer of public library service in the United States, the Boston Public Library is among the three largest collections in the country and is committed to be ‘Free for All’. The Boston Public Library has created an official account on Unsplash to showcase their archival works dating back as early as the 10th century.

Left: 2nd Corps of Cadets 1785–1894. Artist: Tholey, Augustus Right: 3 sisters, August 1893.

We’re excited to continue working with institutions from around the world to promote their digital archives on Unsplash. If you’re interested in working with us, please reach out to and click here for more information about the initiative.