Find illustrationsFind news imagesFind art reproductions
MLA Citation RulesChicago Manual of StyleAPA Citation RulesAttribution Best Practices
Image Editing Tools OnlineDigital Imaging and Scanning
Museum and library websitesArchitecture & PlanningAdvertisements
This is the "Museum and library websites" page of the "Images: finding, using, and citing them" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Images: finding, using, and citing them   Tags: advertisements, architecture, images, museums, public domain, urban planning  

Last Updated: Oct 26, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Museum and library websites Print Page

Tea pot, Freer Gallery, Smithsonian

Ueda Kichibei (Kichizaemon VIII).  "Minato ware tea pot,"  earthenware with lead glaze; copper chain, copper and rattan handle, mid-19th century.  (Freer Gallery, Smithsonian Museums, Washington, DC).  Freer/Sackler, the Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.  Smithsonian Institution.  Web.  21 August 2013.

Selected art museum websites

Increasingly, museums provide access to major portions of their collections online and are therefore rich sources of images.  It is also worth remembering that some – the Met, the Louvre, the National Gallery (U.S. and U.K.), the Tate, the British Museum, and many others – are rich sources of information on provenance, exhibition history, artist biography, and bibliography as well. 

Be sure to check museum websites for Rights and Reproductions information on copyright and how to cite their collections in addition to copyright and citation information found here or elsewhere.

The museum sites listed below are just a few of many possibilities.  Search Google Images and ArtCyclopedia to find more, or choose your favorite museums and investigate their websites.

  • British Museum
    The Museum’s entire database to date can be searched. New records and images are being added every week. When complete the database will contain a record of every object in the Museum collection, with associated conservation and scientific reports where available.
  • Joconde
    “Catalog of the collections of the museums of France, available via the internet.” Includes the holdings of about 140 museums with collections in archaeology, the fine arts, ethnology, history, and the sciences and technology.
  • Louvre: Inventory of the Department of Prints and Drawings
    An exhaustive catalogue of the museum's 140,000 works on paper, by some 4,500 artists; it provides access to the drawings, cartoons, pastels, and miniatures listed in the original handwritten inventories of the Cabinet des Dessins of the Musée du Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay. Choose "Oeuvres" and click "Recherche Multicritère" to search by inventory number, artist, school, date, subject, or technique, or in the context of the history of the collection. Information about the artists (in French) is also provided (lives, works, style). Includes images.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Search the Met's collection by Who (artist, maker, culture), What (technique or material), Where (geographic location), When (era or date), or by museum department. Click the "Browse highlights" tab for a moving strip of 1400+ selected works.
  • National Gallery (U.K.)
    Click letters to see complete lists of the works of every artist in the collection. Click links on the sidebar to get a collection overview, browse by century, see the painting of the month, and other slices of the National Gallery's collection of paintings of the Western world from late Medieval masters to the French Impressionists.
  • National Gallery of Art (U.S.)
    The NGA site is not only a rich source of images from their extensive collection; it is also a rich source of information, as records for each work include bibliography, provenance, exhibition history, and any inscriptions.
  • Rijksmuseum
    Search the Rijksmuseum's collections or browse by artist, subject, style, or highlights. Click links to "more details" to find exhibition histories, bibliographies, and information on materiasl and techniques.
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum
    Search the Getty's collections, or browse by artist, by object type/medium (furniture, paintings, drawings, sculpture, etc), or by theme/topic. Images on the Getty website are available for download at no charge as part of the Getty's Open Content Program, which makes available all digital images to which the Getty holds the rights.
  • The Smithsonian
    The world’s largest research and museum complex, with 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and various research stations. Collections and other online resources are correspondingly extensive; the website repays concentrated searching and browsing.
  • The State Hermitage Museum
    Founded by Catherine the Great, the Hermitage houses a spectacular collection of world art spanning the years from the Stone Age to the early 20th century. The museum’s focal point is Western European art.
  • The Tate
    Search the Tate's collection of British art from 1500 to the present and international modern and contemporary art. Browse by artist, category (painting, sculpture, work on paper, etc.), style or "ism," subject, gallery, and context (new acquisition, gift, collection highlight).

Library digitization projects

Currier Collections Online
The Currier Museum of  Art Reference Library collection contains over 12,000 objects. Most of the collection can be viewed online and many objects are accompanied by interpretive text and zoomable images.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog
Contains catalog records and digital images representing a rich cross-section of still pictures held by the Prints & Photographs Division and, in some cases, other units of the Library of Congress. The collections of the Prints & Photographs Division include photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings. While international in scope, the collections are particularly rich in materials produced in, or documenting the history of, the United States and the lives, interests and achievements of the American people.

New York Public Library Digital Gallery
provides free and open access to over 800,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library’s vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more.

Yale University Digital Collections
The cross-collection search retrieves results from over 500,000 images in selected Library Digital Collections. These collections include the Yale Visual Resources Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Digital Images Online and the Yale Department of Classics Collection.


Loading  Loading...