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Art Resources: Images
Help with finding the images and information you need for homework and projects in art and art history.
The Newberry is an independent research library in Chicago, offering readers an extensive non-circulating collection of rare books, maps, music, manuscripts, and other printed material spanning six centuries. Digital Newberry is their searchable database of over 1.7 million high-resolution images, derived from collection items, and available to anyone without licensing or permission fees to the library.
Searchable image database of artwork held by the J. Paul Getty Museum. housands of images of artworks are available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program. Look for the Download button under the image.
Search the Museums collection of over 5,000 years of art from around the world. Filter results by artist or culture, object type or material, geographic location, date or era, or museum department. The Met's Open Access Artworks collection includes 375,000 hi-res images of public-domain works, all of which can be downloaded, shared, and remixed without restriction. This group of Open Access images are also available on Artstor.
The Museum of New Zealand has recently made over 30,000 images available for download and re-use in high resolution as a part of its Collections Online library. It’s best to search this page after first checking the “with downloadable images” check box so that you only get results that are free for download. Each image specifies its license, many of which are remixable and have no copyright associated with them at all.
NGA Images is a repository of digital images of the collections of the National Gallery of Art. On this website you can search, browse, share, and download images. A standards-based reproduction guide and a help section provide advice for both novices and experts. More than 45,000 open access digital images up to 4000 pixels each are available free of charge for download and use.
An online catalog containing most of the Smithsonian Institution's major collections from their museums, archives, libraries, and research units. There are 9.3 million catalog records relating to areas for Art & Design, History & Culture, and Science & Technology with over 1.3 million images, videos, audio files, podcasts, blog posts and electronic journals.
The Wellcome Library in London has made 100,000 art and medicine images available online for open use. This collection is where to look for offbeat, bizarre photos including medical art of all types including manuscripts, paintings, etchings, early photography and advertisements. The images may be used for commercial or personal purposes, with an acknowledgement of the original source (Wellcome Library, London).
Access to print, pictorial and audio-visual collections and other digital services of the Library of Congress, including American history and culture (from American Memory), historic newspapers (from Chronicling America), historic sound recordings (from National Jukebox), collections, articles and special presentations on music, theater and dance materials (from the Performing Arts Encyclopedia), prints and photographs (with over 1 million digital images), Veterans History Project, U.S. Legislative information, and collections of archived web sites.
The National Archives and Records Administration offers a fantastic library of photographic images including photos of Churchill and Roosevelt, Nixon and Elvis, JFK and Jackie, World War II photos, and many many more historical photos. You can find many of them through this link to the online exhibits page, while others are available on their Flickr page, and thousands more can be found within their Online Catalog. All of the U.S. National Archives’ images that are part of The Flickr Commons are marked “no known copyright restrictions.” As for the rest of the site; “generally, materials produced by Federal agencies are in the public domain and may be reproduced without permission.”
NASA has hi-res image collections available both on their website and on Flickr. Here you can find images of the Mars Utopian Plain, the moom landing, astronauts, space shuttles, and so much more. NASA images are generally not copyrighted.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration makes thousands of stunning high resolution images available for download for free. The photo library is organized into collections such as the National Weather Service Collection containing over 4,000 weather-related images, the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) Collection, the Fisheries Collection, and many more. The photos can be viewed by browsing the galleries or the catalogs for each collection. It’s better to view the catalogs in all cases since not all images are included in the galleries. Credit MUST be given to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce.
The US Dept of Agriculture has high quality digital photos available for download that are copyright-free and in the public domain - images of crops, animals, insects, food, plants, and more. Their online catalog has more than 6,500 photo images.
Why search here?
Artstor is an online database of more than two million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images.
With Artstor you can zoom in on and pan images as well as print, save and organize them.
How do I cite it?
Click the ‘CITE THIS ITEM’ button to the right of the image, choose either the MLA or Chicago citation, then click the ‘Copy to Clipboard’ button. In NoodleTools, choose Database, then Photo or Illustration (or Reference Article, as appropriate), then use the Quick Cite option to paste in the citation. The image URL will be in the citation.
Search WebPath Express
Use WebPath Express to search for Image Collections.
After searching on your topic, narrow results by: Format (Image Collection)
AICT is a royalty-free image exchange resource for the educational community and the public at large. Emphasizing ancient, medieval, and Renaissance European art and architecture. AICT is intended primarily to disseminate images of art and architectural works in the public domain on a free-access, free-use basis to all levels of the educational community.
DPLA brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. The portal provides innovative ways to search and scan through the united collection of millions of items, including by timeline, map, virtual bookshelf, format, subject, and partner. "Discover 29,316,627 images, texts, videos, and sounds from across the United States."
Features content from over 1000 leading museums and archives who have partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to bring the world's treasures online. Organized by broad topic: Art (Artists, Mediums, Art Movements, Partners, Objects, Time, Color); History (Historical Figures, Historical Events, Partners, Objects, Time); and Wonders (Places, Partners).
Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google. Images include famous personalities such as Marilyn Monroe, Charles Lindbergh, etc. as well as photos of American history and Americana. You can browse the collection using this link or add “source:life” to any Google image search and search only the LIFE photo archive. For example: computer source:life. These are for personal, non-commercial use only.
A database of over 33 million freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute: images, sound, video. To find images by topic or subject, search under the 'Topics' or Categories' areas of the site.
The database provides access to the California State University IMAGE Project, and contains approximately 100,000 images, is global in coverage and includes all areas of visual imagery. For convenience, the images are organized into over 900 portfolios that appear alphabetically in the Portfolio List. Relevant information for each image can also be downloaded.
Citing Works of Art, Photographs, and Images in NoodleTools
Watch this tutorial to learn how to use NoodleTools to cite images in art: photographs or illustrations, "born digital" images like logos or graphics, or works of visual art.
Tutorial created by Susan Timmons, Upper School Librarian, The Harpeth Hall School, Ann Scott Carell Library, Nashville, Tennessee, September 5, 2018, using Screencast-O-Matic.