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It’s a public domain celebration! The Digital Public Library of America and DigitalNZ are holding GIF IT UP, an international competition over the next six weeks (13 October–1 December, Eastern) to find the best GIFs reusing public domain and openly licensed digital video, images, text, and other material available via our search portals. Winners will have their work featured and celebrated online at the Public Domain Review and also on  Pretty sweet, huh?

To participate, please read “How it Works” and the "Guidelines and Rules" below before submitting a GIF. To view what others have created, check out the GIF IT UP Gallery.

Questions? Email us at or, or tweet us @digitalnz or @dpla. Good luck and happy GIFing!

How it works

The GIF IT UP competition has seven categories:

1. Animals
2. Planes, trains, and other transport
3. Nature and the environment
4. Your hometown, state, or province
5. WWI, 1914–918
6. GIF using a stereoscopic image
7. Open category (any reusable material from DigitalNZ or DPLA)

A winner will be selected in each of these categories and, if necessary, a winner will be awarded in two fields: use of an animated still public domain image, and use of video material.

GIF IT UP will be co-judged by Adam Green, Editor of the Public Domain Review and by Brian Wolly, Digital Editor of

Entries will be judged on coherence with category theme (except for the open category), thoroughness of entry (correct link to source material and contextual information), creativity, and originality.

All entries that meet the criteria outlined below in the "Guidelines and Rules" will be posted to the GIF IT UP Tumblr Gallery. The gallery entries with the most amount of Tumblr “notes” will receive the people’s choice award and will appear online at the Public Domain Review and alongside the category winners.

You need to head over to the DPLA website to submit your entry via the submission form.

The competition deadline is December 1, 2014 at 5:00 PM EST / December 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM GMT+13.


'Cat Galloping (1887). The still images used in this GIF come from Eadweard Muybridge’s “Animal locomotion: an electro-photographic investigation of consecutive phases of animal movements” (1872-1885). Courtesy USC Digital Library, 2010. CC-BY. Source:

Guidelines and rules

Before you get GIFing, make sure you follow the competition’s guidelines and rules:

• Entry is free via the submission form on DPLA’s website.
• Each entrant can submit up to three GIFs for the competition.
• Entries submitted to the GIF IT UP competition containing public domain material grant the competition organisers the right to assign a CC-BY license to this work. Entries containing Creative Commons-licensed content will be assigned a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
• Size must be less than 1MB, or less than 2MB for GIFs under 400px wide (Tumblr limit).
• Entries will be judged by an external judge, their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
• The organisers reserve the right to disqualify works that breach third party intellectual property rights, contain language or imagery that is offensive or obscene, or material that is confidential or invasive of personal privacy.
• Submissions must include one piece of digital content that is available online via or for free and legal reuse (has a Creative Commons license that does not restrict the creation of derivatives, or is public domain, no known copyright, or openly licensed).
• In uploading your entry you give permission for DigitalNZ and DPLA to post your work to the competition’s Tumblr site, promote via the organisations’ other online channels, and adapt for other possible promotional and editorial purposes.
• If your work is selected as a winning entry, you give permission for it to be promoted via multiple websites and online channels, including but not limited to the Public Domain Review, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and


'Fiddling with the Flag' (1969), by the DPLA. From the short NASA-produced film documenting Apollo 11's journey to the Moon, "The Time of Apollo." CC-BY. Source material:

GIFtastic resources

Competition gallery

To view what others have created, check out the GIF IT UP Tumblr Gallery »


- Public Domain Review’s GIF selection
- DPLA’s Summer of Archives experiment with Imgur (here, here, and here)
- And the work of Okkult Motion Pictures who regularly use public domain video from the Internet Archive to make awesome GIFs
- Kevin Weir's ghostly GIFs from historical photographs
- Public domain GIFs Tumblr

Places to find reusable content

- Check out this set of CC-BY licensed video footage from Archives NZ via DigitalNZ
- Check out this list of public domain and CC-BY licensed video footage from DPLA
- The National Library of New Zealand on the Flickr Commons
- The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa's no known copyright collection
- Auckland Libraries' no known copyright collection
- Open images from the British Library's Flickr
- Archives New Zealand's CC-BY-SA material on Flickr
- Images from Papers Past, the digitised newspaper collection of New Zealand

GIF tips, tricks, and tools

- The complete guide to making animated GIFs
- GIFmaker, simple GIF making tool
- Download GIF brewery (Mac OSX, $5)
- Best apps for animated GIFs
- How to make an animated GIF using GIMP
- Jiffy Google Chrome Browser extension

Questions? Email us at either or, or tweet us @digitalnz or @dpla.