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Images   Tags: art, images, photos  

Research guide to assist you in finding images. Focuses on online collections of images.
Last Updated: Dec 3, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Still Images Print Page


What is copyright?

Copyright Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Read more about copyright.


Copyright issues

Images are copyrighted.  Be sure to cite the source of the images you use in your video.

See also: Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Videos  Here's an excerpt:

Fair use is flexible; it is not uncertain or unreliable. In fact, for any particular field of critical or creative activity, lawyers and judges consider expectations and practice in assessing what is “fair” within the field. In weighing the balance at the heart of fair use analysis, judges refer to four types of considerations mentioned in the law: the nature of the use, the nature of the work used, the extent of the use and its economic effect. This still leaves much room for interpretation, especially since the law is clear that these are not the only necessary considerations. In reviewing the history of fair use litigation, we find that judges return again and again to two key questions:

  • Did the unlicensed use “transform” the material taken from the copyrighted work by using it for a different purpose than that of the original, or did it just repeat the work for the same intent and value as the original?
  • Was the material taken appropriate in kind and amount, considering the nature of the copyrighted work and of the use?

Both questions touch on, among other things, the question of whether the use will cause excessive economic harm to the copyright owner.

If the answers to these two questions are “yes,” a court is likely to find a use fair. Because that is true, such a use is unlikely to be challenged in the first place.

Finding Images

These sites contain collections of mostly still images.  Some have moving images as well.

  • Ad*Access
    An image database of over 7,000 U.S. and Canadian advertisements covering five product categories - Beauty and Hygiene, Radio, Television, Transportation, and World War II propaganda - dated between 1911 and 1955.
  • American Memory  
    Consists of more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical Library of Congress collections. The primary source and archival materials relating in the project cover topics from art and architecture to performing arts to technology.
  • AP Photo Archive  
    The Photo Archive features state, regional and national photos from North America, as well as international photos all available moments after they move on the AP's spot picture system. Login required for off-campus access.
  • Archivision (ARTSTOR)
    Collection of images from various sources such as museums, archaeological teams, photo archives, slide collections, and art reference publishers. Login required for off-campus access.
  • Boston College's Finding Images libguide
    Adeane Bregman at Boston College created a fantastic Finding Images guide. In her words, "This guide presents scholarly and commercial sources available on line and through the web". Of particular interest is the way she's segmented her subjects; she includes tabs on citing image sources, images from literature, religious imagery, and image features from other databases, to name a few.
  • Bridgeman - Art, Culture, History
    Images from the Bridgeman Art Library, a leading source of fine art, cultural and historical images.
  • Corbis Stock photography, footage, rights
    Stock photos from Corbis.
  • Emergence of Advertising in America
    Over 9,000 images, with database information, relating to the early history of advertising in the United States. The materials is drawn from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University.
  • Flickr (Advanced search page)
    Flickr's advanced search page allows you to search for items on the site that are in the Creative Commons.
  • Google Images
    Images pulled from websites.
  • Hurricane Digital Memory Bank
    The largest free public archive of photos, stories, and memories of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Over 25,000 items.
  • The Latin American Library Image Archive
    The Latin American Library's Image Archive, one of only a handful of such collections in the United States, holds over 58,000 individual images from virtually every country in the region. Dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, these images are in a variety of formats including print photographs and negatives, stereographic images, slides, glass slides and historic postcards.
  • Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
    Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
  • Life Photo Archive
    Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.
  • Molecular Expressions
    Collections of color photographs taken through an optical microscope (commonly referred to as "photo-micro-graphs"). Includes some collections of moving images.
  • Public Health Image Library (PHIL)
    Photographs, illustrations and multimedia files from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Tulane Logos
    Official Tulane logos
  • Tulane University Digital Library
    The Tulane University Digital Library (TUDL) mission is the production and delivery of digitized and native digital holdings that support the teaching, research and public service goals of the University. The online communities of scholars, students and the public have access to the rare and unique collections in areas such as Latin American studies, jazz, New Orleans and Louisiana history and architecture.
  • Tulane University Digital Media Archive
    The Tulane University Digital Media Archive integrates images from across the university with collections around the world. Login with a Tulane ID to access all available digital media collections: the Architecture Visual Media Archive, Middle American Research Institute and Newcomb Art Department, in addition to the New Orleans Virtual Archive and LUNA Commons collections.
  • U.S. Government Photos and Graphics
    Photos and graphics from federal agencies. Most images are in the public domain and can be used without permission.
  • Wikimedia Commons
    A wiki for images and media. They are all in the Creative Commons.
  • Women Working: 1800 - 1930
    Digitized historical, manuscript, and image collections. Explores women's roles in the US economy between the Civil War and the Great Depression. Documents working conditions, conditions in the home, costs of living, recreation, health and hygiene, etc.

Citing images found online

Landmark College Library has the best information I can find about citing images found on the web. The examples include how to cite something when there's not author or title associated with the image you're citing.

Other libraries' guides


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