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Visual Resources: Resources by Subject

In this Guide

Image Databases & Websites by Subject

  • Advertising
  • Architecture
  • Art
  • Fashion and Costume
  • History
  • Medicine
  • Nature
  • Photography
  • Science

CCA Library Databases


ARTstor » A digital library of more than one million images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for teaching and research. The collections include contributions from international museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, and artists -- including CCA.

Capp Street Project Archive » find images documenting installations and temporary projects sponsored by the Capp Street Project since 1983

CCA Images and Archives » search over 3,500 digital images from CCA's image and archive collections

Copyright and Usage

This list includes sources that provide images for a wide range of uses, including academic and scholarly use, as well as commercial publication. Each collection has different policies regarding the use of images in educational, academic and commercial contexts. 

Users must clear rights for images under copyright--even for non-commerical usage. Images in the public domain do not require clearance or permission.

Please remember...

  • Make sure you always read and comply with the use restrictions for specific image sources.
  • Always cite images someone else created.
  • Images under copyright should not be sold or used in commercial products or for commercial purposes unless you have a licensing contract.

Advertising

                                     

Front and Back Cover of a Kodak Camera Sales Brochure, 1888. (Accessed via Duke University Library Digital Collections)

Advertising / Packaging Image Resources

  • Ad*Access: Advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. Digital collection at Duke University.
  • AdFlip: Archive of classic print advertisements from 1940 to 2001. Search by publication, advertisement category, or year.
  • Ads of the World: Contemporary ads from around the world, including award winners.
  • adverlicio.us: Searchable collection of online ads.
  • The Advertising Archives: Historical & Current Print Ads: Historical print and TV advertisements, magazine covers, cinema posters, comics, postcards, cigarette cards, and more. Sign in for access to larger images.
  • Advertolog: Contemporary print and TV ads, browsable by categories, including cars, savoury foods, and men's magazines.
  • The American Package Museum: Historical American packaging and print advertising from the early 20th century. Browse by product name. Some 3-D images available.
  • Coloribus: Over two million contemporary ads from around the world in all mediums, including print, online, viral, television, and outdoor advertising.
  • Medicine and Madison Avenue: Over 600 historical and health-related advertisements printed in newspapers and magazines from 1910-1959; categories include cigarettes, vitamins and tonics, diet, and more From Duke University Libraries digital collections.
  • Emergence of Advertising in America: The Advertising and Consumer Culture collections available through Duke University Digital Collections cover American advertising from the 1850s through the 1950s.

Architecture

           

Andrea Palladio, Architectural Fantasy, 1550. Victoria and Albert Museum, London / Palladio’s Teatro Olimpico (Photo from Collection of Architecture Library, University of Notre Dame)

Architecture Image Resources

  • arcspace.com: Architecture magazine featuring contemporary architecture projects, architects, and design. Includes image gallery with multiple site views and large download sizes.
  • arounderPanoramic views of important sites in European and American cities. Includes historical cathedrals and works of art, museums featuring famous artists, local cafes and stores, mountain-top views, parks and gardens.
  • Asian Historical Architecture photographic survey: Contains over 9000 photos from 568 sites in eighteen countries, surveying Asia's architectural heritage.
  • Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER)Part of the American Memory Project, this collection contains more than 350,000 measured drawings, photographs, and written histories in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States and its territories.
  • Cities and Buildings Database: Buildings and cities from throughout history and throughout the world. A collection begun by UW professor Meredith L. Clausen for use in the classroom, student study, or individual research purposes.
  • Great Buildings Collection: Offered in conjunction with the website for Architectural Week, this collection of images includes 3D Models and blueprints of buildings from all over the world.
  • National Register of Historic Places on Flickr: Photos U.S. historic sites on the National Register of Historic Places, taken by staff photographers. Organized into sets by location and type of building.
  • RIBA Pix: Image database from the collections of the British Architectural Library at the Royal Institute of British Architects.
  • Structurae: International collection of architecture and engineering images and information, including historic and contemporary structures. Focus on works of interest for their structural engineering.
  • American Landscape and Architectural Design 1850-1920: This teaching collection from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University comprises of the lantern slides from the schools of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and City Planning, which were combined in 1936 to form the Graduate School of Design. Approximately 2,800 images are available.

Art

Vincent van Gogh, Irises, 1889 | The Getty Museum (Accessed via the Getty Open Content Program)

 

Fine Arts Image Resources

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art: More than 20,000 high quality downloadable images of artworks from their encyclopedic collection believed to be in the public domain—available without restriction, and free of charge.
  • Walters Museum of Art: Find thousands of artworks from around the world and across the centuries. Get detailed infromation about the artworks including conservation and exhinition history. Search, tag and download high quality digital images.
  • Rijksmuseum: Over 125,000 high-resolution images available for download.
  • National Gallery of Denmark
  • Brooklyn Museum
  • The Frick Museum: The Library is digitizing its collection of 57,000 rare, original negatives of works of art through several grant-funded projects and making it freely available through the Frick Digital Image Archive.
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art: Images of many of the works in the collection may be downloaded directly from PMA Collections Online. These images are supplied at no charge and may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes.
  • The Hermitage Museuma virtual gallery of high-resolution images from the Museum.
  • The Prado MuseumAccess online to approximately 1000 works of the Museum's collection (more than 5000 works available in spanish version).
  • Museum of New Zealand: over 30,000 images available for download and re-use in high resolution.
  • Victoria and Albert Museum: Over a million data records are searchable, although fewer images are available. Free high-resolution images available for educational use or academic publications. 
  • Freer / Sackler Galleries: Images of objects from the Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries.
  • Getty Museum: Contains images of many of the artworks held and displayed by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California.
  • Guggenheim Museum: This online collection contains selected classic works and more recent acquisitions from the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art: Provides access to images held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, including highlights from each of the curatorial departments as well as the entire Department of European Paintings and the entire Department of American Painting and Sculpture.
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Contains images of objects from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York: The online collection of the Museum of Modern Art includes artists and objects from the departments of Architecture and Design, Drawings, Painting and Sculpture, Prints and Illustrated Books, and Film and Media.
  • National Gallery of Art: Contains text and/or data on all of the objects in the National Gallery's collection, and images of more than 5600 objects. Data records for more than 110,000 objects, and 20,000 image files are available for download.
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum: American art, craft, and design from all regions, traditions, and cultures. Search over 8.59 million catalog records of museum objects, and library & archives materials. More than 963,000 of these records contain online images, video and sound files, electronic journals and other online resources.
  • The Tate Collection: An online database of works in the Tate Collection, plus an illustrated glossary.
  • Yale University Art Gallery: Works from the Gallery, including paintings, decorative arts, arms and armor, and more. Searchable by department, classification, artist, etc.
  • Musée du LouvreOffers a simple search of the museum's collections and access to several national databases.  Links to the museum's Atlas database of exhibited works where low-resolution images can be downloaded.
  • VADS / online resource for visual arts: Visual art collections comprising over 100,000 images from institutional sources contributed for use in learning, teaching and research. Includes art, design, architecture, decorative art, fashion. UK-based.
  • Web Gallery of Art: A database of European painting and sculpture of the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods (1100-1850), currently containing over 13,900 reproductions

Fashion and Costume

                         

Worchester Corset Company, 1893 / House of Worth, Evening Dress, 1895 / John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Madame X, 1883 (Images accessed via the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Fashion and Costume Image Resources

History

                        

Vitus Wackenreuder, View of the Santa Barbara Mission, 1852 (Accessed via Calisphere)

Historical Image Resources​

  • Calisphere: Over 150,000 digitized items — including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts.
  • History of the American West: Collection of over 30,000 photographs of the American West from 1860-1920, drawn from the holdings of the Western History and Genealogy Department at Denver Public Library. Search by keyword or browse by topic. 
  • American Memory ProjectHistorical documents, photographs, sound recordings, moving pictures, books, pamphlets, maps, and other resources from the Library of Congress.
  • Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division: The collections are rich in materials produced in, or documenting, the United States and the American people, as well as international collections.
  • LIFE photo archive hosted by Google: Millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today.
  • NYPL Digital Gallery: The New York Public Libaray's Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs contains over 63,000 digital images.
  • National Archives: Collection of historical images from the National Archives' Online Exhibits. Includes 20th century photographs and photographers, workplaces of the 19th and 20th centuries, historical panoramic photography, and more. Browse by topic, time period, or search by keyword.  
  • Smithsonian Institution Archives: Collection of digital photographs of historic events, as well as displays, objects and artifacts in the Smithsonian collections, offered by the Smithsonian Photographic Services. Search by keyword or browse by category, including American history, the Presidency, and more.
  • Daguerreotype Portraits and Views 1839-1864: Library of Congress collection consisting of more than 725 photographs dating from 1839 to 1864. Portrait daguerreotypes produced by the Mathew Brady studio make up the major portion of the collection.
  • Selected Civil War Photographs: Library of Congress collection of 1,118 American Civil War photographs.

Medicine

        

Rembrandt van Rijn, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, 1632. Hague, Netherlands. (Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, New York.) / Anatomical Illustration showing the muscles of the arm 

 

Medical Image Resources

  • Atlas of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: Over 1,000 endoscopic images. Categories include esophagus, stomach, colon, and more.
  • AnatQuest Anatomic Images Online: National Library of Medicine's image collection contains high resolution cryosectional (cross-sections and/or slices) color images of the human anatomy.
  • Brain Biodiversity Bank Atlases: Michigan State University online atlases of the brains of humans, sheep, dolphins, and more. Search for brain images by animal category.
  • Center for Disease Control's Public Health Image Library: Photos, illustrations, audio/visual, and animation files. Images include titles, descriptions, and subject identifiers.
  • DermAtlas: Dermatology Image Atlas: Over 10,000 dermatology images. Search by term or browse by categories, diagnoses or body sites.
  • Digital Anatomist Project: University of Washington Structural Informatics Group's interactive atlas containing graphical and symbolic representations of human anatomy. Includes 2-D and 3-D images.
  • Genome Image Gallery: Genome Sciences images from the Department of Energy Human Genome Project. Search by topic or browse by categories including Human Chromosome Gallery, Basic Genomics, and more.
  • Harvard's Whole Brain Atlas: Atlas of the human brain from Harvard Medicine. Browse for a variety of images by normal brain or brain disease type.
  • Medscape Medical: Over 10,000 medical images. Search for images by limiting your "content type" to "images."
  • The Medical Heritage Library : a digital curation collaborative among some of the world’s leading medical libraries, promotes free and open access to quality historical resources in medicine.
  • Wellcome Images: Over 40,000 current and historical medical images; topics include medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and biomedical science.

Nature and Natural Science Images

                      

Unknown, Belly River, Chief Mountain in background, Montana, American Museum of Natural History, New York (Image and data provided by AMNH Digital Special Collections).

 

Nature and Natural Science Image Resources

  • American Museum of Natural History Digital Special Collections of the American Museum of Natural History Research Library provides access to digitized archival photographic images, art and memorabilia images and Rare Book Collection illustrations.
  • CalPhotos: Over 160,000 photos of plants, animals, fossils, people, and landscapes from around the world. Search by geographic location, common or scientific name, or browse by type of photo, including mammals, human culture, trees, and more.
  • Forestry Images: Health, natural resources, and silviculture Images including forest pests, trees and stand types, silvicultural practices, invasive organisms, forest plants, wildlife, and other scenes. Joint project of the Bugwood Network and the USDA Forest Service, and the University of Georgia.
  • Freshwater and Marine Image Bank: Images related to freshwater and marine topics, including images of fish, shellfish, and marine mammals, pictures of fish hatcheries and dams and vessels, materials related to polar exploration, regional and traditional fisheries, and freshwater subjects. From the University of Washington Library's Digital Collections.
  • National Park Service Digital Image Archive This webpage provides links to public domain digital images of many of those sites, including national parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites and related areas.
  • Nature Picture Library More than 350,000 images of animals, plants, pets, people and landscapes. Image rights range from royalty free to per image licensing by fee. 
  • New York Public Library Digital Gallery: Nature & Science: Images from the thirteenth through the early twentieth century in the fields of astronomy, chemistry, geology, mathematics, medicine, and physics. Includes manuscript illuminations, engravings, lithographs, and photographs from the New York Public Library.
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Digital Library: Collection of over 6,000 nature and wildlife photos provided by the U.s. Fish & Wildlife Service. Includes birds, plants, habitats, environmental sciences, wildlife refuges, and more.
  • Antarctic Photo Library: Hundreds of photos, including wildlife and stunning scenery, from the US Antarctic Program. 
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Photo Library: More than 20,000 photos, including weather and space images, images of US shores and coastal seas, and images of marine life. The collection is divided into 20 albums, and the site is easy to navigate. You can also find links to other NOAA photo sites here.
 

Photography

  

Lewis W. Hine, Sadie Pfeiffer, Spinner in Cotton Mill, North Carolina, and Cotton Mill Worker [negatives c.1910] (accessed via The Getty Open Content program)

 

Photography Image Resources

  • Calisphere: Over 150,000 digitized items — including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts. 
  • Center for Creative Photography: The Center for Creative Photography is an archive and research center located on the University of Arizona campus. It retains the archives of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Garry Winogrand, Harry Callahan, and other great twentieth-century photographers. The Center is pleased to announce that its collections of photographs by Edward Weston and Ansel Adams are now available on the University of Arizona Institutional Repository.
  • George Eastman House: Online selections from the George Eastman House's vast photographic holdings.
  • History of the American West: Collection of over 30,000 photographs of the American West from 1860-1920, drawn from the holdings of the Western History and Genealogy Department at Denver Public Library. Search by keyword or browse by topic. 
  • International Center for Photography (ICP): The eMuseum is a searchable database of ICP's Photography Collection. Because of the large number of works in the collection, not all are currently included in eMuseum. But new items are continually added to the online collection, and records are constantly updated with additional research and texts. In addition to searching eMuseum, you can also create an account and manage your favorite images.
  • Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division: The collections are rich in materials produced in, or documenting, the United States and the American people, as well as international collections.
  • LIFE photo archive hosted by Google: Millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today.
  • NYPL Digital Gallery: The New York Public Libaray's Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs contains over 63,000 digital images.
  • National Archives: Collection of historical images from the National Archives' Online Exhibits. Includes 20th century photographs and photographers, workplaces of the 19th and 20th centuries, historical panoramic photography, and more. Browse by topic, time period, or search by keyword.  
  • Photomuse: Collaborative project between the George Eastman House and the International Center for Photography (ICP) in New York City. Includes images, exhibitions, and historical info on photography.
  • Smithsonian Institution Archives: Collection of digital photographs of historic events, as well as displays, objects and artifacts in the Smithsonian collections, offered by the Smithsonian Photographic Services. Search by keyword or browse by category, including American history, the Presidency, and more.
  • Daguerreotype Portraits and Views 1839-1864: Library of Congress collection consisting of more than 725 photographs dating from 1839 to 1864. Portrait daguerreotypes produced by the Mathew Brady studio make up the major portion of the collection.
  • Selected Civil War Photographs: Library of Congress collection of 1,118 American Civil War photographs.

General Science Images

Joseph Wright, A Philosopher Giving a Lecture at the Orrey, 1766. The Derby Museum and Art Gallery, England. (Accessed via Digital Library Federation Academic Image Cooperative) / The Black Eye Galaxy captured by the Hubble Telescope (accessed via NASA)

 

Science Image Resources

  • Apollo Image Atlas: Comprehensive online collection of Apollo-Saturn mission photography from the Lunar and Planetary Institute, including 25,000 lunar images, both from orbit and from the moon's surface, as well as photographs of the earth, astronauts and mission hardware. Search by term or browse by Apollo craft, camera type, and much more.
  • CalPhotos: Over 160,000 photos of plants, animals, fossils, people, and landscapes from around the world. Search by geographic location, common or scientific name, or browse by type of photo, including mammals, human culture, trees, and more.
  • Earth Science World: American Geological Institute's collection of archaeological, geological, environmental, geophysical, and other images. Also includes plants, animals, and weather and satellite images.
  • Forestry Images: Health, natural resources, and silviculture Images including forest pests, trees and stand types, silvicultural practices, invasive organisms, forest plants, wildlife, and other scenes. Joint project of the Bugwood Network and the USDA Forest Service, and the University of Georgia.
  • Freshwater and Marine Image Bank: Images related to freshwater and marine topics, including images of fish, shellfish, and marine mammals, pictures of fish hatcheries and dams and vessels, materials related to polar exploration, regional and traditional fisheries, and limnological (freshwater) subjects. From the University of Washington Library's Digital Collections.
  • Hubble Gallery: Hubble Telescope images from the Space Telescope Science Institute; search for images by term of browse by categories including galaxies, solar system, nebulae, stars, the universe, and more.
  • NASA Image eXchange (NIX): NASA's images of aeronautics, aircraft, projects, the solar system and beyond, space flights, and more. Search or browse by category. You can also jump to Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth or NASA’s Visible Earth.
  • New York Public Library Digital Gallery: Nature & Science: Images from the thirteenth through the early twentieth century in the fields of astronomy, chemistry, geology, mathematics, medicine, and physics. Includes manuscript illuminations, engravings, lithographs, and photographs from the New York Public Library.
  • NOAA Photo Library: Weather and space images, images of the Earth's shores and coastal seas, and marine species images ranging from great whales to the most minute plankton. Search by term or browse by categories including the National Weather Service, fisheries, coral kingdom, and more.
  • Pictures of Science: 700 Years of Scientific and Medical Illustration Images from the thirteenth through the early twentieth century in the fields of astronomy, chemistry, geology, mathematics, medicine, and physics, as represented in manuscript illuminations, engravings, lithographs, and photographs from the New York Public Library.
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Digital Library: Collection of over 6,000 nature and wildlife photos provided by the U.s. Fish & Wildlife Service. Includes birds, plants, habitats, environmental sciences, wildlife refuges, and more.
  • USDA Beltsville Electron Microscopy Unit: Images from the Electron and Confocal Microscope Unit; using the scanning and transmission electron microscopes, the collection contains images of the surface of biological and physical materials unaltered by preparative procedures.