A guide to finding and using images in all areas of study
Last Updated: Aug 28, 2013
Searching for Images
Unlike searching for text sources where the subject is often relatively easy to describe, putting images into words can be challenging.
Below are general tips for finding useful images.
- Look in specialized image databases first. These have more advance image searches than Google.
- Look in journal indexes for illustrated articles. Many articles in periodicals have great illustrations.
- Search for illustrated books in our library online catalog.
- If at first you don't succeed, try again:
- Are there other terms that describe your subject?
- Are there more concrete symbols that represent abstract concepts (e.g. ""heart" or "kiss" instead of "love")?
- If you aren't turning up many results, try more general terms.
- Flickr Commons
Image collections from libraries, museums, and archives from around the world.
- Flickr Creative Commons
Millions of photos created by Flickr users are available under different kinds of Creative Commons licenses.
- Google Image Search
Search for images on the web.
A public image archive for creatives, by creatives.
- Smithsonian Galaxy of Images
Search the collections of materials digitized by the Smithsonian Libraries. Note: the site prohibits the use of images as content for online courses.
- World Images
A database of images in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences, from all over the globe.