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Meta Search

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

How does the Meta Search feature work for Images?

CC Search supports built-in image search. When you enter a query on the CC Search 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 CC Search.
  2. Click on the link that says “Not finding what you need?” below the image results.

When you click on “Not finding what you need?” a modal will load with 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.

Meta Search Images - Cars

How does the Meta Search feature work for Audio and Video?

CC Search does not yet support built-in audio and video search. For Audio and Video, simply click on the appropriate tab, and you’ll see what sources you can find CC-licensed content on.

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.

Meta Search Audio - Drums

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:

Old CC Meta Search Portal Demo

For users of the legacy CC Meta Search site, the Meta Search feature on CC Search 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.