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Visual Resources Guide

Use this guide to find various resources for your image research in the visual arts.

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Use this guide to find various resources for your image research and scholarship in the visual arts. This guide includes image databases, open-access repositories, special topic resources, and helpful tools for navigating copyright.

Start by deciding what images you need and why you need them. This will allow you to narrow your topic and use the correct image database and tools. Navigate to the tabs on the left and use Finding Images and Open Access Collections to get started!

Why use image databases?

Image databases often contain high-quality images of original materials, copyright information, and useful contextual information about the artwork that can support your research. Internet search engines cannot find the highest quality digitized work in archives, museums, and libraries, and often reference external websites that are not the original source of the material.

 Tab through the sections below when selecting images for scholarly work.

Selecting Images

Using high-resolution images will look best when projected for presentations and will give you the flexibility to conserve the quality when needing to crop or print for papers or publications.

Consider whether a center view of an artwork or a detail view would help convey a point or topic in your research.

Use the Visual Resources Guide to find reputable image databases for your research. Your image source must have this information: titleartistdatemedium, and information about who owns the artwork (physical location like a museum or gallery). These details will also be used when you cite your images.

Will the image be shared widely or used in the classroom? Is it for a publication or thesis? Knowing your intent will guide you to understand Fair Use, Copyright, and the ethical use of images and visual media in scholarly work.