Can I use Images from Te Papa’s Collection Online?

Can I use Images from Te Papa’s Collection Online?

You’ve found a really nice image in Te Papa’s Collections Online pages and you’re wondering whether you can use it… We’ve just made it easier for you to tell. And we’ve released a bunch of images for reuse if you meet certain conditions.

North Island Kaka, Nestor meridionalis septentrionalis, collected 01 Sep 1995, Te Puna, near Wairoa, New Zealand. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (OR.025021)
North Island Kaka, Nestor meridionalis septentrionalis, collected 01 Sep 1995, Te Puna, near Wairoa, New Zealand. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (OR.025021)

You can copy, share, and remix the images with the rights statements No Known Copyright Restrictions. There are no conditions on reuse. You can use these images commercially. We ask that you credit the image use using the attribution provided but you don’t have to.

You can copy, use and share the images with the rights statements Creative Commons BY-NC-ND if you meet these conditions:

  • You must attribute the image;
  • Your use is non-commercial;
  • Don’t change the image i.e. no cropping, no overprinting, no derivative works

If you want to use these types of images commercially or the image rights statement is All Rights Reserved then you need to contact the Te Papa Media Sales & Licensing Team. Fees for image use may apply.

Where is the rights statement?
The rights statement is underneath the image in the object page in Collections Online. The All rights reserved statement is the default. It’s a big job to check every image so I’m rolling this out in sections. Check out the Natural Environment collection areas and the older images in the Photography collection for a start.

How do I copy the image?
Click on the Download button.
If you want to use the image in a website or blog, you can also choose to use our image directly. Right click on the image, go to properties, and copy the Address (URL) of the image.

How do I attribute the image?
When you click on the Download button attribution credit information will appear automatically.

Not sure if your use is non-commercial?
I’m writing a blog post with some case studies to help you figure this out and I’ll link to it here when I’ve posted it. If you’re still not sure ask the Te Papa Media Sales & Licensing Team.

Want to alter the image?
Ask the Te Papa Media Sales & Licensing Team (charges may apply)

Want a larger image?
Ask the Te Papa Media Sales & Licensing Team (charges may apply)

Te Papa Media Sales & Licensing Team?
Contact the Te Papa Media Sales & Licensing Team by clicking the “Buy or Licence This Image” link below the image in Collections Online and fill in the form.

PS – If you do end up using Te Papa’s images I’d love it if you’d let me know. A comment with a link to your post or project would be great!

Edit: 10 November 2011 –  I’ve added the  registration number of each collection item into the creditline. The registration number is the unique number used to identify objects and specimens in Te Papa’s collections.

Edit: 3 June 2014 – Post updated to reflect change in practice regarding release of images with No Known Copyright Restrictions and new name for Media Sales & Licensing Team.


  1. I every time spent my half an hour to read this blog’s posts all the time along with a cup of coffee.

  2. I can totally understand that some people have no clue and could ruin the integrity of an image. It’s fair that you can’t let everyone do as they please because we know where that leads.

  3. Hi longwhitekid. Cropping can change the integrity of an object or an artwork. The CC-BY-NC-ND licence is the best fit with Te Papa’s image licensing practice. While we do not encourage cropping and try to avoid it ourselves, if you do need to crop Te Papa’s images you have the option of applying for a copyright licence via the Te Papa Picture Library (fees apply). Granting permission to crop will not be possible for all of our images but is considered on a case-by-case basis by Te Papa Picture Library.

  4. In many instances they would need to be cropped for use in various layouts. It seems a bit inflexible to say point blank it can’t be done.

  5. Hi Aaron. You’re not being difficult! You certainly can layout as many CC BY-NC-ND works in a panel arrangement as you like as long as the works are reproduced in full, credited correctly and your use is non commercial. However creating a “mosaic picture” as you describe normally involves recolouring individual images. This is not permitted under the No Derivatives part of this licence as recolouring creates a derivative work. Check out the Creative Commons Kiwi video on YouTube for a great explanation:

  6. Hi Victoria- just because I know you love curly questions: what if I used many CC BY-NC-ND pictures to make a mosaic picture – like the ones in the Mixing Room – that from a distance is a picture of something else? Would that be a derivative work? They wouldn’t be cropped or altered, just layed out in a creative way. I’m not trying to be difficult–I really want to know!

  7. Thanks for all the nice comments everyone! I hope you enjoy using the images.

  8. very professional looking images! this will defensively benefit a lot of people
    Thank you tepapa 😛

  9. Thanks for allowing some of your images to be used in personal blogs. As locals, we often come to Te Papa.

  10. Thanks for making these images more accessible. I know copyright is important but also feel that things in the national collection, on one level, belong to all of us. It’s great to explore the images on Te Papa’s site, but to then be able to add them to a personal blog post and discuss specific aspects is a real boon. Thanks!

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