Researcher Services Librarian
by Daniel Goldstein – April 29, 2020
This free database contains images of over 300,000 works of art from the Met’s collections. The database is searchable and it is also divided into 22 subject groups including, for example:
CAMIO–Catalog of Art Museum Images Online–contains around 80,000 images of works of Art from 24 different museums. The artwork selection draws from a wide range of places and time periods. The images in CAMIO are licensed for non-commericial, educational use (teaching and research).
WorldImages “contains approximately 100,000 images, is global in coverage and includes all areas of visual imagery. WorldImages is accessible anywhere and its images can be freely used for non-profit educational purposes. . . . The images can be located using many search techniques, and for convenience they are organized into over 900 portfolios.”
Over 10,000 images of the fine arts from the J. Paul Getty Museum freely available online.
Corsair, the website for the Pierpont Morgan Library includes a searchable database of more than 15,000 images selected from the Pierpont Morgan Library’s collection of medieval manuscripts.
The Museum’s “collection of 152 Chinese painting and calligraphy has never been studied in depth and is heretofore largely unpublished. For the first time, it is being introduced and made universally accessible through this newly developed online catalogue, which features thoughtful and provocative essays about major works by renowned scholars, with high-resolution, zoom-able images of the works of art, and thorough documentation—including transcriptions and translations of inscriptions and colophons, and seals which are transcribed, identified and located.”
This is a juried site of work by contemporary ceramic artists. It includes images of selected works that can be used for educational purposes. Most of the artists represented are from North America.
CLAROS is an international interdisciplinary research federation led by Oxford University. It provides searchable access to online image collections of art and artifacts of the Ancient World at several British and European institutions. includes images from Asia and South Asia as well classical Europe. Thematic Collections include, among others :
This growing collection consists of images of Ottoman architectural monuments in the Balkan countries taken by Dutch scholar Machiel Kiel mostly from the 1960s through the 1990s. It is a project of the Netherlands Institute in Turkey (NIT). Currently it contains images from Southeastern Europe.
This innovative site seeks to “provide the user. . .with new ways to understand the relationship of hundreds of buildings conditionally described as ‘Gothic’. . .within a defined period of time and space that corresponds to the advent of the nation of France.” It “seeks to establish linkages between the architectural space of individual buildings, geo-political space, and the social space resulting from the interaction (collaboration and conflict) between multiple agents—builders and users.”
The Museum maintains the nation’s largest and most comprehensive collection of artifacts relating to the art, history, and technology of the moving image—one of the most important collections of its kind in the world.
From 1935-1967, Time Inc. offered Americans views of significant historical events in their newsreel series The March of Time. Several hundred of these newsreels can be searched and viewed as streaming videos. Transcripts of these commercial, documentary, instructional and public service videos accompany the films. In support of research and teaching, the resource enables users to create, edit, and share playlists or film clips.
This page provides a list of links to international archives with moving image collections.
Kanopy is an on-demand streaming video service for educational institutions that works directly with filmmakers and film distribution companies to offer thousands of award-winning documentaries, training films and theatrical releases across diverse subjects and disciplines. Collections include titles from the DEFA Film Library, ArtMattan Films, HBO, Frameline, Ruscico, Pragda, BBC, Flicker Alley, National Film Board of Canada, First Run Features, Cinema Libre Studio, New Day Films, and the Criterion Collection/Janus Films.
Please note: only documentaries and Criterion Collection are available at this time.
This site is an ever-changing collection of over 700,000 photographs from the Associated Press news service, historic images. Most of the images are contemporary and date from 1995 forwards and all include descriptive captions and source information.
The Everett D. Graff Collection is one of the major special collections on the American West. This database contains a full-text selection of original manuscripts, maps, ephemeral material and rare printed sources from that collection. It also includes such supplementary materials as scholarly essays and data maps. It is a rich resource to explore almost any aspect of the history of the American West.
“The Chinese in California, 1850-1925 illustrates nineteenth and early twentieth century Chinese immigration to California through about 8,000 images and pages of primary source materials. Included are photographs, original art, cartoons and other illustrations; letters, excerpts from diaries, business records, and legal documents; as well as pamphlets, broadsides, speeches, sheet music, and other printed matter.” Some of this material is available online.
This extraordinarily rich image database of over 870,000 photographs, maps, motion picture and audio recordings is divided into 30 distinct collections. Collections are organized in numerous ways; most of them are either by the administrations of city mayors and borough presidents, or by municipal department, or by material or subject type.
This is an online collection of 19th and early 20th century photographs of the Mississippi Valley along the Iowa/Illinois border. They are selected from the collections of several libraries, museums and colleges in the area.
Photographs from the first half of the Twentieth Century on a surprisingly wide range of subjects including the San Francisco Earthquake, the Boy Scouts and Farming.
See also their Photo Galleries, to browse selected subject collections.
The Wellcome Collection, including the Wellcome Library (London, England) is one of the premiere collections in the history of medicine. This is a link to digitized images of objects in their collections on a broad variety of subjects associated in some way with the history of medicine.
A database of 7,000 images and advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. Ad*Access concentrates on five main subject areas: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II.
The Vogue Archive contains the entire run of Vogue magazine (US edition), from the first issue in 1892 to the current month, reproduced in high-resolution color page images. Every page, advertisement, cover and fold-out has been included, with rich indexing enabling you to find images by garment type, designer and brand names. Search by advertisement, article, editor, and more or browse each issue by date.
Special Collections at California State University, Chico’s Merriam Library has a fine collection of scanned historic topographic maps of California.
“The Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilizations (DARMC) makes freely available on the internet the best available materials for a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) approach to mapping and spatial analysis of the Roman and medieval worlds. DARMC allows innovative spatial and temporal analyses of all aspects of the civilizations of western Eurasia in the first 1500 years of our era, as well as the generation of original maps illustrating differing aspects of ancient and medieval civilization. . . .”
Over 50,000 online map images from the University of Texas’s Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection. Maps are of all sorts, some reflecting current issues others are historical. The site also links to other major map collections.
The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection has over 11,000 maps online. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North and South America maps and other cartographic materials. Historic maps of the World, Europe, Asia and Africa are also represented. Collection categories include antique atlas, globe, school geography, maritime chart, state, county, city, pocket, wall, childrens and manuscript maps.
Fire Insurance Maps online (FIMo) is a research portal to find and view high-definition, color Fire Insurance Maps, Real Estate Atlases, Plat Books, and other historical maps showing building structures, building construction details, property ownership, property uses, and other useful information.
UC Davis has licensed the maps for the state of California.