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Library Image Databases
A nonprofit resource that provides over 1.6 million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences with an accessible suite of software tools for teaching and research.
Britannica Image Quest
Access more than two million rights-cleared images from over 50 of the best collections in the world.
Compass (Search All)
The facets in Compass allow you to limit your results to images.
Google Art Project
A collaboration between Google and museum partners to provide access to high-quality art images.
A wide array of images from across the disciplines, but quality can be uneven and may not include attribution of original source. If you plan to post images found via Google on the Web or use them in a publication, ensure you have permissions from the original source.
Using a Country's Google Image Search
In evaluating the image during the research process, ask yourself these questions to help provide context for the image:
- Is the image accompanied by text that provides information about the creator, title, media type, date, and location?
- How does the text inform your understanding of the image?
- Is the information factual and informative, or is it intended to teach you how to see the image?
- Do the text and image provide clues about the intended audience?
Oxford Art Online
A standard art reference resource. Lengthy, scholarly entries describe and define art terms and movements worldwide. Includes biographical information about artists. Access limited to 5 simultaneous users.
Entry for Buddha in Oxford Art Online has information about historical depictions and iconography.
Public Access Image Databases
A list of sources for public domain and relatively unrestricted images.
- Yale University
- National Gallery of Art
- The Getty
- Walters Art Museum
A service of the Rijksmuseum, Rijksstudio offers high resolution images (4500x4500px usually) for public domain works via a direct download on the site.
- NYPL Digital Collections
You can limit your search to public domain images only.
- Library of Congress Digital Collections
This collection contains a mix of restricted and unrestricted works. However, each subcollection has detailed information regarding usage restrictions. Some material does not have restrictions (for example, drawings from the Lamb Studios Drawings)
- Wellcome Images
Historical images are available for free, high-res download and are licensed under CC-BY 4.0 (creative commons attribution-only license). The images must be credited.
- Europeana Art History Collection
Europeana allows you to limit to “Free re-use” images on the search results page.
- Flickr Commons
This is a collection of material from various cultural heritage institutions, which contribute images of works believed to be in the public domain.
The main Flickr website also allows you to filter by license. Many images are licensed using creative commons licenses, some of which allow for modifications (like cropping) and commercial use. Appropriate filters would be: Commercial use & mods allowed, No known copyright restrictions, U.S. Government works
OpenGLAM is a directory of open access image collections online.
- Public Domain Review
Public Domain Review is a curated online publication that also links to high-resolution images. The images page allows you to filter by rights. Some of the images come from Wikimedia Commons.