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Community Arts and Social Practice

A guide to resources available at CCA Libraries

Artstor Images

Using Artstor

The CCA Libraries subscribe to Artstor, the premier image database for art and design research. It contains over two million high-resolution images contributed by museums, archives, universities, and libraries. Every image has corresponding data about the creator, materials used, and location of the original.

To download images, individual users need to create a free Artstor account. Our institutional subscription allows CCA faculty, students, and staff to use Artstor images (with proper attribution) for educational purposes such as research papers, presentations, and lectures. 

Video Tutorials

Artstor updated its interface in July 2017. This video will get you up to speed on the changes. If you are new to Artstor, it will give you a good idea what to expect.

Additional Image Resources

Images on the Web

 These websites contain great collections of images as well:

  • Google Art Project
    Google's collection of image's from museums and cultural institutions from around the world.
  • WorldImages (SJSU)
    Over 50,000 images, including significant art and architecture collections, which "may be freely used for non-profit educational purposes."
  • New York Public Library Digital Collections
    Over 600,000 images from the collections of the NYPL, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs...
  • Calisphere
    Historical images of California including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts.
  • Victoria & Albert Museum (London)
    The V&A is a world-class museum of art and design. The Museum holds over 3,000 years worth of artifacts from many of the world's richest cultures. Their online image database allows you to search for over 1,000,000 works from the V&A's collections, including ceramics, fashion, furniture, glass, metalwork, paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture and textiles.
  • Metropolitan Museum (New York)
    The Collection Database is a searchable database of artworks and related materials from the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • San Francisco MOMA 
    SFMOMA's online collection of modern and contemporary art includes holdings in photography, painting and sculpture, architecture and design, and media arts.
  • Flickr Creative Commons search
    Search for images posted to the popular photo sharing site which are published under an open license that allows reuse

Using Images

Most images you will come across are protected by copyright. Images from ARTstor, Creative Commons images, and Worldimages are available for your use for educational purposes. Be careful if you use images from other sources, as you may be violating copyright. Just because it's freely available, doesn't mean that it's not copyright protected. Know the rules and use images fairly and conscientiously. For additional information on using and citing images, see our guide on copyright.