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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

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Featured resource

Google Art Project

The Art Project is a collaboration between Google and some of the world's most acclaimed art museums. Powered by a broad, connected suite of Google technologies, the world's great works of art and museums are now within reach to an unprecedented global audience.

See Google Art Project's You Tube Channel for more information on getting started.

Unique online image tools

  • Dipity
    free digital timeline website
  • Europeana
    Europeana enables people to explore the digital resources of Europe's museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections.
  • Google Image Swirl
    Google Image Swirl organizes image search results based on their visual and semantic similarities and presents them in an intuitive exploratory interface.
  • Imgur Image Sharer
    can be used to share pictures with friends, as well as post images on message boards and blogs. You can manipulate the image a number of ways and automatically submit it to popular sites such as reddit or digg.
  • Picscout
    instantly IDs images on the web, providing creative professionals with image information and a one-click connection to image licensors.
  • Tin Eye Revers Image Search
    TinEye is a reverse image search engine. It finds out where an image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or if there is a higher resolution version.

Open access image collections on the web

The internet abounds in collections of images, organized and made available online. Websites range from those of institutions, such as museums, foundations, and libraries, that have digitized their collections, to personal sites put up by collectors or hobbyists or art lovers who wish to share their interests.  Especially in the latter case, care must be taken to make sure that images are good quality and do not break copyright rules.

The following collections of digital images are freely accessible to the public.

  • ALA comprehensive Guide to images online
  • Art Images Online
    Collections of free images sources online including paintings, photography, works by women, architecture, and more.
  • Calisphere - "The University of California's free public gateway to a world of primary sources."
    Over 150,000 digitized items including photographs, newspaper, political cartoons, works of art, transcribed oral histories, and other unique cultural artifacts from the libraries and museums of the UC campuses and a variety of cultural heritage organizat
  • Casselman Archive of Islamic and Mudejar Architecture in Spain
    This collection contains over four thousand color slides and black and white photographs of medieval Spain. The images span over one thousand years of architectural history, from the seventh to the seventeenth century.
  • Cybermuse (Canadian National Archive)
    The permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada as well as the print collection of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography are searchable in this database.
  • Digital Image Collections Wikispaces
    The Digital Images Collections Wiki is a resource of Free- and Fair-Use digital image collections that are available for anyone to use for personal or educational purposes.
  • Flickr- The Commons
    World's public photography collection/archive. Library of Congress, various museums, and libraries have also posted photographs for you to view.
  • Galaxy of Images
    Contains a portion of the more than 1.5 million printed books and manuscripts in the collections of Smithsonian Institution Libraries.
    GloPAD (Global Performing Arts Database) records include authoritative, detailed, multilingual descriptions of digital images, texts, video clips, sound recordings, and complex media objects related to the performing arts around the world, plus information about related pieces, productions, performers, and creators.
  • Google Images
  • Internet for Image Searches
  • Library of Congress Flickr Groups
    With the launch of the Library of Congress pilot, Flickr began a new initiative called "The Commons." Cultural heritage institutions that join The Commons are sharing images from their photographic collections that have no known copyright restrictions.
  • Luna Commons
    a new source for finding valuable, educational content from digital collections built in the Insight Software from Luna Imaging, Inc. and presented in Insight's dynamic new LUNA browser.
  • NYPL Digital Gallery
    provides free and open access to over 700,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more.
  • Old Images of Asia
    A growing collection of annotated and tagged colour and B&W old
    postcards' photographs and lithographs
  • Rumsey’s Visual Collections
    Over 300,000 images from over 50 collections including maps, artwork, and photographs that are both free and subscription based collections. All collections are presented in Insight.
  • San Franciso Historical Photograph Collection
    contains photographs and works on paper of San Francisco and California views from 1850 to the present. More about the collection
  • The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) Online Image Collections
    VADS has provided services to the academic community for 11 years and has built up a portfolio of visual art collections comprising over 100,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in teaching and research.
  • Visual Resources Online (links to digital image collections)
    Online Visual resources of image collections and online art courtesy of the University of Michigan School of Art & Design. Catagories include: Africa & Diaspora | The Americas | Asia | Europe | Islam | Classical World of the Mediterranean | Photography |
  • Wellesley Image Wiki
    The Digital Images Collections Wiki is a resource of Free- and Fair-Use digital image collections that are available for anyone to use for personal or educational purposes.
  • Wikimedia Commons
    A database of 3,346,310 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.
  • WIkipedia Public Domain Image Resources
  • World Digital Library

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