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Art History: Images

Art History

Digital Databases

 ArtStor ARTstor image database
Great Buildngs Collection Great Buildings Collection database

Winnipeg Building Index

 Explore Architecture on by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) has an excellent building type section.

U of M Public Art Collection


General Resources

Artsy (public domain images):

CAA (College Art Association) is also keeping a list at:

Flickr Commons: almost everything is downloadable.

Wikimedia Commons tries to aggregate a number of institutions' free content.


Brown University. The list is annotated and includes notes when images are freely available:

University of Colorado, Boulder: (click on "external image sources")

UCLA : You might also find some use in the Creative Commons, Open Content, & Public Domain images tab of the Image Resources research guide at:

Yale Digital Commons has 250,000 images "without license."


Most of these are free-access:

Art Institute of Chicago Ryerson and Burnham Libraries. Another great resource for digital images

The British Museum Free Non-Commercial Use Images:
Information regarding copyright:

Currier Museum of Art: A quick resource guide for fair use images here: 

Getty Open Content ProgramHigh resolution images of works from the Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute that are in the public domain and may be used freely. Can also search in Getty Search Gateway , but click on "Open Content Images.".

LACMA unrestricted images collection:

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City):

NGA Images (National Gallery of Art in Washington DC

The Rijksmuseum offers high-res digital downloads free for non-commercial use.

The Walters Art  Museum


Online Archives

Archivegrid * A very useful guide to locating archives around the world. Information can be searched by topic or specific archive. New resources are continually added.

Archives of American Art The Archives has collected roughly 16 million letters, photographs, diaries, oral history interviews, sketches, scrapbooks, business records, and other documents that support the study of the history of the visual arts in America. 

The Beazley Archive Provides dictionary and bibliographies related to collections of ancient Greek and Roman cultural objects. Housed in the Classical Art Research Center and Archive at the University of Oxford.

Library of Congress Digital Collections
Archival finding aids are detailed guides to
primary source material which provide fuller information than that normally contained within cataloging records. This page provides links to online archival finding aids at the Library of Congress.

Libraries and Archives of Canada

National Register of Archives 
The NRA contains information on the nature and location of manuscripts and historical records that relate to British history.

NYPL Digital Collections Provides free and open access to over 640,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs, and more.

Online Archive of California  The OAC brings together historical materials from a variety of California institutions, including museums, historical societies, and archives.

SCIPIO: Art and Rare Books Sales/Auction Catalogs for sales from the late sixteenth century to scheduled auctions not yet held. Records include the dates and places of sales, the auction houses, sellers, institutional holdings, and titles of works.

Smithsonian Institution Research Information System  Search 1.89 million records, with links to 178,800 images, video and sound files from dozens of Smithsonian libraries, archives, museums, and specialized research units.

University of Manitoba Archives - Digital Archives

Women Artists Archives National Directory An innovative web directory to U.S. archival collections of primary source materials by and about women visual artists active in the U.S. since 1945.

Citing Images

Colgate University: Citing Images Chicago Style

New Jersey Institute of Technology: Citing Images in Architecture, Art & Design

University of Manitoba Citing Images Guide

UCI Libraries Citing Images Guide:

Online Gallery Collections

The Google Art Project: Like Street View for Museums  gathers together seminal works from Germany, Russia, New York, and 14 other locations online. The interactive street-view-style interface makes even hairline cracks visible. New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art are among the participating galleries.

Museums and Galleries (education links, lesson plans and games!)

Web List of Contemporary Art Museums Worldwide 

One thing I always have hesitations about, in these lists we call "free" or "open" image sources, is that when I read the fine print on the museum sites there are often qualifications.  Even Creative Commons licenses depend on the uploader in fact having copyright ownership of what s/he is uploading.  There are Picasso paintings on Flickr with the photographer (not Picasso) giving an open access license.

 List of Contemporary Art Museums Worldwide