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Art Research Guide: Finding Images

Resources for locating information in art

Quick Links to Guides

Images

Car Photos

Need CC pictures of cars?   You can find such images here.

Creativity103.com

This site provides access to some very interesting CC-licensed background images. 

Getty Images

While Getty Images does not provide CC-licensed materials, it now offers the ability to use 35 million of its images for non-commercial purposes.  Simply go to their site by clicking on the link above, search for an image using key words, and you can limit your search to royalty-free options from the menu on top of the screen. 

OpenClipArt.org

In addition to locating images through the Creative Commons Search, Google Images, and Flickr, this site provides access to tens of thousands of images that are free to use under a Creative Commons Public Domain license.


PhotoEverywhere.co.uk 

This site provides access to Creative Commons-licensed images with a travel theme. 

 

Animal Photos

Use this site to find CC-licensed animal pictures.

Wikimedia Commons

Helpful resource which contains Creative Commons licensed and Public Domain images and other media.  One of the most helpful things about Wikimedia Commons is the Open-Source Ticket Request System (OTRS) which tracks the permissions to freely use media sources posted to the site. 

 

Visual Arts and Images

Locating Art reproductions, photographs, other images in the Public Domain:
This selective list of links will help lead you to public domain art reproductions, photos, and other images.  Again, it's important to remember that even though an art object might be in the public domain, its reproduction may not be.  Here are a couple of resources to consult which further explain this potential problem area when using reproductions of public domain visual works.

"Finding Images" Art LibGuide (Mansfield Library)

I put together this guide initially to help users locate a variety of images.  Some of these links may take you to public domain image reproductions.

"Finding and Using Public Domain Photographs" Public Domain Sherpa

This page is from an informative public domain site written by an independent entrepreneur/attorney.  Author provides a lengthy list of sites that provide access to public domain photos because the original work's copyright duration expired or the original work was created by a U.S. Government agency.  

U.S. Government's Official Web Search (for images)

Use these sites to help you search for images created by the U.S. Government.

Flickr: Public Domain

This is a newer group pool for Flickr where contributors are dedicating their images to the public domain.  There are also other groups in Flickr that do similar things about a more specific topic.  If you have images that you'd like to dedicate to the public domain, you can also join the group.  As always, be sure to verify the copyright status before using any of these images. 

Wikimedia Commons

This site not only provides access to Creative Commons-licensed images, but also to reproductions of public domain images.  Recently they've been teaming up with the National Archives to provide access to thousands of photos. 

New York Public Library Public Domain Collections

Have a look at the New York Public Library's digital materials that are in the public domain.  This collection includes photos, lithographs, illuminated manuscripts, and more!

Finding Images

Finding images can be challenging, but we have some great resources available here at the Mansfield Library to assist you.

Online Databases Available at the Mansfield Library:

* ARTstor (available from this link.)

* CAMIO (available from this link.)

* Grove Art Online (available from this link.)

- This resource is now part of a suite of other resources called Oxford Art Online.

- Click on the "Images" link from the main page to get started. You will need your NetID in order to connect to this resource from off-campus.

Internet:

* Finding Images on the Web http://www.bu.edu/library/instruction/findimages/index.html

- This “meta-site” gives links to online guides for locating images on the web. It was put together by an art librarian.

* Individual museums:

- If you are going to “Google” anything, be sure to “google” individual museums to see if they have any digital image collections. The Louvre, for example, has a good portion of artwork images available online. The Metropolitan Museum of Art also has some nice images from their collections available. Also try Google Image Search.

* Free Art Resources on the Web. Art Libraries of North America (ARLIS/NA) http://www.arlisna.org/resources/onlinepubs/freeart.html

- Created by art librarians of ARLIS/NA, this is an authoritative meta-site of free art resources available online.

Other interesting individual web sites for finding images:

* Ad*Access: http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/adaccess/
- Contains reproductions of newspaper and magazine advertisements from 1911 through 1955.

* American Memory:
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html
- Contains items, including images, related to the "American experience."

* Flickr Commons:
http://www.flickr.com/commons
- Items found in this collection carry "no known copyright restrictions."  They are mainly located in public cultural institutions such as the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, and others.

* Getty Images:
http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/AdvancedSearch.aspx
- Contains photos, stock video footage, as well as some music.  Keep in mind that this is a proprietary site and you may need to pay to use some items. 

* LIFE Photo Archive: http://images.google.com/hosted/life
- You can search for published and unpublished photos from the LIFE archive here.  Google hosts this project, so locating images in this collection is similar to using Google Image Search. 

* Medical/Health Image Collection (Emory University Rollins School of Public Health): http://www.sph.emory.edu/PHIL/PHILimage.php
- Provides a list of links to Internet collections of medical and health-related images.  Warning: some links may take you to subscription-only resources.

* New York Public Library (NYPL) Digital Gallery: http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/index.cfm
Contains nearly 700,000 images from the NYPL's digital collections.

* Reelposter Gallery: http://www.reelposter.com/search.php
- This site can help you find advertisement posters for vintage films. Keep in mind that the site is proprietary and they use the search mechanism as a means to sell the posters you find on it.

* Sciences- Finding and Using Images (Wesleyan University Library): http://libguides.wesleyan.edu/content.php?pid=14652&sid=98839
This is a library guide that can help you locate more scientific images. 

* VADS: http://www.vads.ac.uk/advsearch.php
- Contains over 100,000 images, mainly from United Kingdom sources.  This resource also allows you to zoom in on images as well as save them to an account on the web site. 

* World Digital Archive: http://www.wdl.org/en/
- This site includes primary source materials-- including images-- from online digital archives around the world.

* WorldImages: http://worldimages.sjsu.edu/
- Locates images from around the world; some are not included in ARTstor. Image quality and searching interface is not the best, but they can still provide access to surrogate images that may not be covered elsewhere.

Print:

Visual and Performing Arts

Profile Photo
Tammy Ravas
Contact:
Arts and Media Librarian and Copyright Coordinator

Professor

MLIB 323

Mansfield Library

University of Montana

Missoula, MT 59812-9936

Ph. 406-243-4402