Meta Search

Openverse is built on top of a catalog that indexes CC-licensed and public domain content from selected sources. Learn more about our sources.

The internet is a big place! There are plenty of search portals and collections, hosting CC-licensed and public domain content, which we aren’t able to index or surface results from within the Openverse interface. These are important sources of CC-licensed and public domain content, and we want to make sure that you are able to find the best openly licensed materials possible, regardless of where they are located.

What content types can I search for using the Meta Search feature?

Meta Search on Openverse currently supports image, audio, and video search on external sites.

How does the Meta Search feature work for indexed media types?

Openverse supports built-in search for some media types, such as images. When you enter a query on the Openverse homepage, a page of results will be displayed. Scrolling to the bottom of the page, you have two choices:

  1. Load more results, and continue browsing in .
  2. See the section “Not finding what you're looking for? Try additional sources.” below the results.

The “Not finding what you're looking for? Try additional sources.” section lists other sources of CC-licensed and public domain content. Your search query will be preloaded, and if supported, you can select a Use filter to proactively filter your results. Click on the button for the external source you’d like to search, and your results will open in a new tab.

How does the Meta Search feature work for non-indexed media types?

Openverse does not yet support built-in search for some media types, such as videos. For these media types, click on the appropriate tab and you’ll see sources where you can find CC-licensed content.

The Filters bar on the left includes the Use filter, which may be supported by some meta search sources. Apply these before clicking on the button for the external source you’d like to search.

Can I suggest new sources for Meta Search?

Yes, please! Create an issue in our GitHub repository or send us an email and tell us about the new sources you’d like to see included.

Why did you build this?

For many years, CC has offered its users a dedicated search portal for searching platforms that have CC licensing filters built in. These platforms included Europeana, Google Images, Flickr, Jamendo, Open Clip Art Library, SpinXpress, Wikimedia Commons, YouTube, ccMixter, and SoundCloud. The search experience looked like this:

For users of the legacy CC Meta Search site, the Meta Search feature on Openverse will look familiar. The goal was to ensure that the functionality is not lost, but is updated and embedded within our new search engine for openly licensed content. In addition, the Meta Search feature builds on this functionality, allowing us to quickly add new sources to Meta Search as we discover them, and support new content types in the future, as we expand.

We hope you enjoy, and if you have suggestions for improvement, leave us feedback.