Phrasing and Language
Terms and Keywords
Searching for images often requires different search strategies than searching through a library catalog or periodicals database. Retrieving visual content with words can be a complex process that involves matching search terms with the vocabulary used to describe an image. Your results will depend on the level of detail used to describe the image, which can range from very few words to in-depth subject analysis, and the extent to which your search terms match the descriptive vocabulary. You may find what you need with your first search, or you may need to try several different approaches.
Choosing an image database
Effectively using an image database
Keep in mind...
Searching for images can often be more unstructured than searching for books or journal articles. Think creatively to retrieve the most useful images, and be willing to experiment with different search strategies. Learn from your successes. If you find just the right image in a particular database, make a note of that success so that next time you need to find an image, you'll remember what worked.
The complete academic encyclopedia, related articles, images, and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.
The full-text of Grove Dictionary of Art and The Oxford Companion to Western Art, with thousands of images and continuously updated articles on major artists, periods, and styles.
A guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words from across the English-speaking world.
Getty Research Institute Vocabularies
The Getty vocabularies contain structured terminology for art, architecture, decorative arts and other material culture, archival materials, visual surrogates, and bibliographic materials. Compliant with international standards, they provide authoritative information to enhance access to databases and Web sites.
AAT: The Art & Architecture Thesaurus
Catherine wheel or rose window? AAT is a structured vocabulary, including terms, descriptions, and other information for generic concepts related to art and architecture.
CONA: The Cultural Object Name Authority
Mona Lisa or La Gioconda? CONA, a new vocabulary now accepting contributions, includes titles, attributions, and other information for art and architecture.
TGN: The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
London or Londinium? TGN is a structured vocabulary, including names, descriptions, and other information for places important to art and architecture.
ULAN: The Union List of Artist Names
Titian or Tiziano Vecellio? ULAN is a structured vocabulary, including names, biographies, and other information about artists and architects.