Digital Images

A Word about Copyright and Use of Images:

Advice from "Finding Images on the Web: Image Copyright:"

  • "use public domain material (i.e., materials that "belong to the community at large, are unprotected by copyright or patent, and are subject to appropriation by anyone" (Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Law);

  • get license to use image;

  • look for Web creator's statement of permissable use and for suggested credit line"

Look for links to "terms of use" or "terms and conditions" or "permission to use" for information about a specific collection.

Both ARTstor and Saskia have information on their sites regarding permitted and prohibited use. The free sites listed below usually do not have restrictions on use if the use is for non-commerical use, i.e., personal, research or teaching, but make sure to check the fine print.

Searching Free Sites

The sites below are freely available online to anyone:

American Memory (From the Library of Congress)

The Commons (Library of Congress flickr collection)

Calisphere - A World of Digital Resources (images for educators)

Online Archive of California (images from museums, archives, and libraries)

New York Public Library Digital Gallery

OAIster (click Search tab to enter keywords and limit to images)

Internet Scout Report (search for the word images)

Kids' Image Search Tools (from KidsClick!.org)

NASA Image eXchange (NIX)

vads - the online resource for visual arts (from the UK)

Science IMAGES("A video library for grade 1-8 teachers; 8 forty-five-minute video programs and guides")

The Home of Mathematical Knitting

Mathematics Animated

BrainPOP (animated educational site)

To save a citation to images from the resources below, use RefGrab-it.

Searching Databases (IWU Only) & Image Collections

For Ames Library Digital Collections, visit our website.


ARTstor is a database with nearly one million images from universities, libraries, archives, museums and private collections around the world.

Free registration is required.

*Note re use of images: Images may be used in "displays and handouts only. [...] Content may not be incorporated into an unrestricted database or website, or made available to others (electronically or otherwise)..."

To export images to RefWorks:

1. Search for images, save to group

2. Go to Image Groups, select "Save group's images as citations"

3. Go to View, select "View saved citations"

4. Mark citations to export and click on RefWorks export option. You'll be prompted to login and the export will be automatic.


Saskia is similar to ARTstor, but has fewer images and a less robust search engine.

Note re use of images: The terms of use are unclear as to how exactly images can be used or not used. Erring on the side of caution is probably best, i.e., not posting the images online in a website. Use in a display or handout seems like an allowable use.

To save a citation in RefWorks:

You will need to enter image information into RefWorks manually by clicking on References --> Add New Reference and filling in

the blanks with the information from the database.

Citing Images

MLA format:

1. To cite painting, sculpture, or photograph (see page 201 in MLA Handbook):

Artist's name. Title of piece. Institution housing piece OR name of individual who owns it, city name.


Wirtz, Annie. Artie. The Ames Library, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington.

2. To cite a photograph of a painting, sculpture in a book (see page 201 in MLA Handbook):

Artist Name. Title of piece. Institution OR name of individual who owns it, city name. Title of book. Author of book. Publication

location: publisher, year. page number, figure number, plate number or slide number.


Claudel, Camille. Maturity (L'Age mur). Musee Rodin, Paris. Dictionary of Women Artists. Delia Gaze, ed. Chicago: Fitzroy

Dearborn Publishers, 1997. 400.

3. To cite painting, sculpture or photograph retrieved online (see page 232 in MLA Handbook):

Artist's name. Title of piece. Year. Institution housing piece, city. Date retrieved <URL>.


Wirtz, Annie. Artie. The Ames Library, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington. October 23, 2007 <>.

APA format:

In general...

Artist's name. Title of piece. Insitution housing item OR individual who owns it, city name.

If image found in a book, use APA style to cite book title, author, publication location, publisher, year, page number.

If image found online, use APA style format for online sources.


Please email Stephanie if you need further help with locating images for your project. You can also visit me with questions during my office hours (Ames Library, 201B). You can also use Ask Ames email or chat service to get more help.