Franklin &  Marshall College Library

Finding Images on the Web:
An Annotated Guide to Multidisciplinary Resources

Welcome mat


  1. Franklin & Marshall Subscription Databases
  2. General Topics
  3. Art History, Architecture, and Photography
  4. Special Collections/Artists' Books
  5. Humanities, Social Sciences, and Area Studies
  6. Science
  7. Additional Guidance

Franklin & Marshall Subscription Databases

Ghiberti panel   Enameled vase   Iran

Digital library of nearly one million images in the areas of art, architecture, humanities, and the social sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage them for scholarship and teaching purposes.

Bridgeman Art Library Archive
Online archive of the respected Bridgeman Art Library, founded in 1972 as an art reproduction library. Areas represented include fine art, design, antiques, maps, architecture, furniture, glass, ceramics, and anthropological artifacts from the collections of museums, art galleries, and artists.

Oxford Art Online Images
Search and browse for images contained within Oxford Art Online, and well as thousands more linked to authoritative third-party sources.

General Topics

Ralph Works   Railway men   New taxes   Sphinx"   Animals poster

Academic Commons, Image Project Resources
Multidisciplinary on-line image resources recommended by participants in a National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE) project.

George Grantham Bain Collection
Photographs from one of the first American news picture agencies, the majority of which represent life in the New York of the 1900s-1920s. These high-quality, unrestricted-use images show working people, street scenes, celebrities, theater openings, cultural and social events, etc. A subset on Flickr (photos from 1910-1912) demonstrates an exceptional use of Flickr as a research resource.

Library of Congress American Memory
Free and open access to a ditigal record of American history and creativity. Materials chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas in the form of still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music.

Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
Catalog records and approximately 1.2 million digitized images representing a rich cross-section of still pictures held by the Prints & Photographs Division and other units of the Library. Library of Congress offers broad public access to these materials as a contribution to education and scholarship.

LIFE Photo Archive hosted by Google
Millions of historic photographs from the LIFE photo archive spanning the decades 1860s through 1970s. Images accessible by decade, keyword, and general categories such as People, Places, Events, Sports, Culture.

The New York Public Library Mid-Manhattan Library Picture Collection Online
From New York Public Library's mid-town branch, a digital version of its renowned picture collection: more than 30,000 digitized images from books, magazines, and newspapers, as well as original photographs, prints, and postcards, mostly created before 1923.

New York Public Library Digital Gallery
Free and open access to over 700,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs, and more.

Harvard University Library Visual Information Access
Union catalog of visual resources at Harvard focusing on artistic and cultural materials. Some records allow access to larger-scale images that are appropriate for teaching and research.

Wikimedia Commons
Search or browse this database of over 7 million freely useable image (and other media) files organized by topic, location, and type.

California State University's IMAGE Project of approximately 80,000 images is global in coverage and includes all areas of visual imagery. Content may be freely used for non-profit educational purposes and is organized into portfolios (e.g. Cultural & Social Interactions) and further by subject (African Diaspora).

Art History, Architecture, and Photography

Chartres window   Colorado River   Balenciaga   Bird cane

Art Images for College Teaching
Free-use-for-education resource of ancient, medieval, and Renaissance European art and architecture photographed on location by art historian and visual resources librarian, Allan Kohl. Hosted by the Department of Art History, University of Minnesota.

Commercial Web site and search engine which provides access to images of artists' works through links to museum sites, image archives, and other online resources.

Catena Digital Archive of Historic Gardens and Landscapes
Bard Graduate Center's digital archive for scholars of landscape history.

Chartres: Cathedral of Notre Dame
Access to a comprehensive collection of images and detailed descriptions of Chartres Cathedral. Hosted by the Digital Research Library at the University of Pittsburgh.

Franklin & Marshall College Phillips Museum of Art
The Phillips Museum of Art online registry of collections. Categories include African art, decorative art, Pennsylvania folk art, and quilts and textiles.

Franklin & Marshall College Visual Resources Collection
A curated collection of curriculum-relevant images for teaching, study, and scholarship.

Getty Museum Collections
A digital collection of many of the works of art on display at the Getty Center and Getty Villa.

Great Buildings Picture Index
A gateway to architecture around the world and across history, documenting a thousand buildings and hundreds of leading architects with 3D models, photographic images, and architectural drawings. Searchable by building, architect, or place.

Islamic Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
A collection of free images from LACMA showing prime examples of Islamic art arranged by historical period.

A collaboration between George Eastman House and the International Center of Photography to provide online resources for the study of photography at work in the world.

Pre-Raphaelite Online Resource
A digitized collection of more than 3,000 paintings, prints, and drawings created by the Pre-Raphaelites of 19th century Britain. From the collection of the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, UK.

Images from the collections of the British Architectural Library at the Royal Institute of British Architects, the world's most extensive visual archive develoted to architecture. RIBApix covers world architecture of all periods together with related subjects such as interior design, landscape, topography, planning, construction, and the decorative arts. Many images also are of social documentary importance.

Smithsonian Archives of American Art Image Collections
Thousands of photographs of artists and art-world figures, letters, sketches and sketchbooks, diaries, printed materials, ephemera, and other documents from the Archives' collections.

Textile Museum of Canada Collection
A collection of more than 6,000 objects accessible through the web, representing 2,000 years of history and cultural traditions from over 200 countries and regions around the world.

V&A Search the Collections
Over 1 million works from the Victoria and Albert Museum's collections, including ceramics, fashion, furniture, glass, metalwork, paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture, and textiles.

Visual Arts Data Service Online Resource for Visual Arts
Portfolio of 46 separate visual arts collections of British design (fashion, design, material culture, furniture, craft, and political posters and prints). Based at the University College for the Creative Arts, UK.

Web Gallery of Art
Virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture from 11th to 19th centuries.

Special Collections/Artists Books

Otis Waitressing   F&M Fraktur   Otis Boundless   Chicago Beauty

Digital Library of Illuminated Manuscripts
Illuminated manuscripts digitized page-by-page. Includes Franklin & Marshall's mid-15th century South Netherlands Book of Hours (Spec. Coll. BX2080 .H39 1450), as well as selections from Lehigh, Penn State, and Villanova Universities.

Franklin & Marshall College Library Special Collections
Choose the links for Pennsylvania German Broadsides and Pennsylvania German Fraktur to view objects in two notable collections.

Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection
Visual record of selected materials in the Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Otis Artists' Book Collection
Approximately 8,000 images of 2,000 books in the collection of the library of Otis College of Art & Design. Books can be viewed page-by-page, creating a valuable teaching and research resource for art historians, students, and artists. Collection includes works by important contemporary artists such as Ed Ruscha, Joseph Beuys and Vito Acconci.

University of Wisconsin Artists' Book Collection
Illustrated, descriptive index to the Artists' Book Collection, Kohler Art Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Many of the titles have several images to visually represent the structure and/or content of the book.

Humanities, Social Sciences, and Area Studies

Louisiana purchase   Dunhuang Buddha   Kazakhs

A digital library of over 4,300 postcards and ephemera showing the interiors and exterors of theaters and concert halls around the world.

CDRI: Digital Resources for the Study of Religion
A joint project of the American Theological Library Association and the Association of Theological Schools offering access to images of woodcuts, photographs, slides, coins, maps, postcards, lithographs, and various forms of Christian art, architecture, and iconography.

Image Database to Enhance Asian Studies (IDEAS)
Interdisciplinary digital collections built around a pan-Asian theme. The product of a NITLE-sponsored (National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education) effort to unify digitizing efforts at various liberal-arts colleges.

Pictures of the Civil War
Pictures from the National Archives and Records Administration, including photographs from the Matthew B. Brady collection. Photographs are listed under four main headings: activities, places, portraits, and Lincoln's assassination.

University of Texas at Austin Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
Online maps of both historical and current interest. Collection categories include world geography, historical, thematic, and topographic.


Hawkens fish   Ocean cyanotype   White Lake, AZ

Earth Science World Image Bank
Geoscience images provided by the American Geological Institute.

The Cell: An Image Library
This public repository of vetted and annotated images, videos, and animations of cells from a variety of organisms, is a project of the American Society for Cell Biology.

Astronomy Picture of the Day
In addition to the "picture of the day," this NASA image web site links users to a topical index of astronomy photographs and an archive of pictures of the day going back to 1995.

Images from the History of Medicine
70,000 images in the prints and photographs collection of the History of Medicine Division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Collection includes portraits, pictures of institutions, caricatures, genre scenes, and graphic art in a variety of media, illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine.

NASA Image Exchange (NIX)
Search NASA's online image collections. Thumbnail-sized pictures returned in a search link to higher resolution images.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Photo Library
Collections include weather, space, coastlines, marine species, ocean exploration, polar regions, and hundreds of images documenting the damage left by Hurricane Katrina.

Public Health Image Library
An organized, universal electronic gateway to pictures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for reference, teaching, and presentation use. Content is organized into hierarchical categories of people, places, and science, and is presented as photographs, illustrations, and multimedia files.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Plants Image Gallery
More than 40,000 photographs and line drawings of United States plants.

Additional Guidance

Technical Advisory Service for Images, "Advice - Finding and Using Digital Images" (from the UK)

Library of Congress, "How to Cite Electronic Sources"

The Franklin & Marshall Handbook on Copyright Policy is available on eDisk in the Office of the Provost folder, under Copyright Policy and Handbook. It includes a "Checklist for Fair Use Analysis."

Louise Kulp, Visual Resources Librarian, Shadek-Fackenthal Library

***Please use images from the sources in this guide
according to their associated rights and reproductions policies.***

Updated August 2010, Louise Kulp