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Finding Images on the Web:
An Annotated Guide to Multidisciplinary Resources

Welcome mat


  1. Franklin & Marshall Subscription Databases
  2. General Collections
  3. Architecture and Landscape
  4. Area Studies
  5. Art and Art History
  6. Artists' Books/Artists' Publications
  7. Fashion, Textiles, and Design
  8. Photography and Photo Archives
  9. Science
  10. Additional Guidance

Franklin & Marshall Subscription Databases

Ghiberti panel   Enameled vase   Iran

Digital library of nearly 1.5 million images of art, architecture, humanities, and social sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage them for study and teaching. Users can search without registering, but must register to take advantage of features such as saving and downloading images.

Credo Reference
Click the "Image Search" tab to search for fine art, design, antiques, maps, architecture, furniture, glass, ceramics, and anthropological artifacts from the collections of museums galleries.

Oxford Art Online
Click the Images tab to search for and browse images from Oxford Art Online and authoritative linked sources.

General Collections

Teddy Roosevelt collection   American Memory baseball   Harvard business advert

Harvard University Library Visual Information
Union catalog of visual resources at Harvard focusing on artistic and cultural materials. Some records allow access to larger-scale images for education and scholarship.

Library of Congress American Memory
Open access to a ditigal record of American history and creativity. Materials chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas in the form of still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music.

Library of Congress Prints & Photographs
About 1.2 million digitized images representing a rich cross-section of still pictures held by the Library of Congress. Broad public access is offered for education and scholarship.

The New York Public Library Digital Gallery
Open access to over 800,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, and photographs.

The New York Public Library Mid-Manhattan Branch Picture Collection
A digital version of NYPL's renowned Mid-Manhatten branch picture collection. More than 30,000 images from books, magazines, newspapers, original photographs, prints, and postcards, most created before 1923.

Yale Digital Content
Cross-collection searching of art, natural history, maps, and photos from Yale University's Peabody Museum, Center for British Art, Art Gallery, and University Library Digital Collections.

Architecture and Landscape

Olmsted Brooklyn   Paris Opera   Van Doesburg

Digital library of over 4,300 postcards and ephemera showing the interiors and exteriors of theaters and concert halls around the world.

Chartres Cathedral
A collection of 4,000 images with detailed descriptions of Chartres Cathedral. Hosted by the Digital Research Library at the University of Pittsburgh.

The Cultural Landscape Foundation
Landscape history and preservation site that spans over two centuries of American landscape design. Over 1,300 entries with significant visual content in the "Photo Albums" section of the entries.

Great Buildings Picture Index
A gateway to architecture around the world and across history, documenting a thousand buildings and hundreds of leading architects with 3D models, photographic images, and architectural drawings. Searchable by building, architect, or place.

Images from the collections of the British Architectural Library at the Royal Institute of British Architects, the world's most extensive visual archive devoted to architecture. Covers world architecture of all periods as well as interior design, landscape, topography, planning, construction, and decorative art. Many images are of social documentary significance.

Area Studies

Louisiana purchase   Dunhuang Buddha   Kazakhs

Image Database to Enhance Asian Studies (IDEAS)
A collection that unifies the digitizing efforts of four mid-West liberal arts colleges to make their Asian-studies images accessible.

University of Texas at Austin Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
Online maps of historical and current interest. Collection categories include world geography, historical, thematic, and topographic.

Visualising China
Open-access image resource from the University of Bristol, UK, for more than 8,000 digitized images of photographs of China taken between 1850 and 1950..

California State University's IMAGE Project of approximately 80,000 global images organized into portfolios (e.g. Cultural & Social Interactions) and then subject (African Diaspora). Use is free for non-profit educational purposes.

Art and Art History

Pre-Raph print   Getty Adoration   Munoz

Art Images for College Teaching
Free-for-education images of ancient, medieval, and Renaissance European art and architecture photographed on location. A University of Michigan Library digital collection.

Franklin & Marshall College Visual Resources Collection
A curated collection of curriculum-relevant images for teaching, study, and scholarship. Please note, some material is accessible only to F&M students, faculty, and staff.

Getty Museum Collections
Images of art in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Google Art Project
View 33,000 works from over 150 collections in 40 countries, from virtual museum tours to brush-stroke detail.

Islamic Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
A collection of free images from LACMA showing prime examples of Islamic art arranged by historical period.

Pre-Raphaelite Online Resource
A digitized collection of more than 3,000 paintings, prints, and drawings created by the Pre-Raphaelites of 19th century Britain. From the collection of the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, United Kingdom.

Smithsonian Archives of American Art
Over 8000 photographs of artists and art-world figures, letters, sketches and sketchbooks, diaries, printed materials, ephemera, and other documents from the Archives' collections.

Artists'Books/Artists' Publications

Scream at the Librarian   War is Trauma   Otis Waitressing

Booklyn Artists Alliance
Searchable database with cover and page images of artists' books exhibited, distributed, and published by Booklyn Artists Alliance.

Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection
Visual record of selected books and zines in the Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Otis Artists' Book Collection
Approximately 8,000 images of 2,000 books in the collection of the library of Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles. Books can be viewed page-by-page, creating a valuable teaching and research resource for historians, students, and artists. Collection includes works by Ed Ruscha, Joseph Beuys, and Vito Acconci.

University of Wisconsin Artists' Book Collection
Visual index to the Artists' Book Collection, Kohler Art Library. Many of the titles have several images to visually represent structure and content.

Fashion, Textiles, and Design

Balenciaga   Liberty print   VADS Stiebel

André Studios, 1930-1941: Fashion Drawings & Sketches
A digital collection of fashion drawings from the Fashion Institute of Technology and the New York Public Library showing original, hand-colored fashion drawings. Extraordinary visual documentation of the American fashion industry in the early 20th century.

Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection
A digital collections database that provides open access to images of almost 9,000 itmes in the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Especially strong in ethnographic textiles and 19th- and 20th-century American and European hom furnighing and apparel fabrics.

Textile Museum of Canada
Images of more than 6,000 objects from the Museum's collection, representing 2,000 years of history and the cultural traditions of over 200 countries and regions around the world.

Victoria and Albert Museum
Over one million works from the V&A's collections, including ceramics, fashion, furniture, glass, metalwork, paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture, and textiles.

Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) for British design
Portfolios of images (100,000 total) from United Kingdom universities, museums, and archives. Contents include fashion, design, material culture, furniture, craft, political posters, and prints.

Photography and Photo Archives

Martin Luther King, Jr.   Bain photographer   Ellis Island

George Grantham Bain Collection
Photographs from one of the first American news picture agencies, the majority of which represent life in New York in the 1900s-1920s. These high-quality, unrestricted-use images show working people, street scenes, celebrities, theater openings, and cultural and social events.

LIFE Photo Archive
Millions of historic photographs from the LIFE photo archive hosted by Google. Images span the decades 1860s through 1970s. Searchable and browsable by decade and the general categories of people, places, events, sports, culture.

Pictures of the Civil War
Photographs from the National Archives and Records Administration, including items from the Matthew Brady collection. Categories include activities, places, portraits, and Lincoln's assassination.


Hawkens fish   Ocean cyanotype   White Lake, AZ

American Society for Cell Biology Image Library
Public repository of vetted and annotated images, videos, and animations of cells from a variety of organisms.

Centers for Disease Control Public Health Image Library
An organized, universal electronic gateway to pictures for reference, teaching, and presentation. The photographs, illustrations, and videos are organized by people, places, and science.

Earth Science World Image Bank
Geoscience images provided by the American Geological Institute.

Images from the History of Medicine
70,000 images in the prints and photographs collection of the History of Medicine Division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Collection includes portraits, pictures of institutions, caricatures, genre scenes, and graphic art in a variety of media, illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine.

NASA Images
Public access to NASA images (and other media), including the beloved "Astronomy Picture of the Day" Collection.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Photo Library
Image catagories include weather, space, coastlines, marine species, ocean exploration, and polar regions, plus hundreds of photographs documenting the damage done by Hurricane Katrina.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Plants Image Gallery
More than 40,000 photographs and line drawings of United States plants.

Additional Guidance

Most of the web sites listed in this guide include information about how their images may be used.
Please use the images from these sources according to their associated rights and reproduction policies.
Policies vary widely, so be alert to differences.

Updated September 2012, Louise Kulp


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