Search Open/Close
Open/Close Header Details


About the NOAA Photo Library

The NOAA Photo Library collections reflect NOAA’s broad mission of advancing science “from the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun.” Images within the NOAA Photo Library are contributed by NOAA staff and help depict NOAA’s work to explain and interpret our changing environment. The collection includes thousands of weather and space images, hundreds of images of shores and coastal seas, and thousands of marine species images ranging from whales to the most minute plankton.

The NOAA Photo Library has been a service of the NOAA Central Library since 1998. The new Photo Library, launched in 2019, organizes approximately 80,000 images into broad collections which are further arranged into specific galleries. A portion of this large collection is also offered through our Flickr account. The NOAA Photo Library is not the only source of photography and imagery from NOAA; many offices and programs within our agency produce photographs and it is advised that you contact the owners of specific sites within NOAA if you find images on those web pages that you are interested in using.

Restrictions for Using NOAA Images

Images in the NOAA Photo Library are in the public domain and cannot be copyrighted. There is no fee for downloading any images on the site. Educational use is encouraged as the primary goal of the NOAA Photo Library is to help all understand our oceans and atmosphere.

This general permission does not extend to use of the NOAA emblem (logo). The NOAA emblem may not be used by persons who are not NOAA employees or on products (including webpages) that are not NOAA-sponsored without written consent from NOAA.

Requests from entities such as publishers to sign over copyright privileges for publication purposes are unnecessary. If the NOAA material is to be used for commercial purposes, especially including advertisements, it must not explicitly or implicitly convey NOAA's endorsement of commercial goods or services. If a NOAA image includes an identifiable person, using the image for commercial purposes may infringe that person's right of privacy or publicity, and permission should be obtained from the person. If using an image, please credit NOAA and photographer, if noted, as well as their affiliated organization.

Submitting Images to the NOAA Photo Library

The NOAA Photo Library only accepts digital images from NOAA staff. Information regarding submissions can be found on the submission FAQs page.

Contact Information

For all questions about the NOAA Photo Library, contact us at: photolibrary@noaa.gov

Back To Top