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Visual Resources Center

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Visual Resources Center 35mm slide drawers. Photographed by Andrew Bale.


  • Dickinson College's Visual Resources Collection: 100,000+ media assets in Artstor and JSTOR. Collections continue to grow and include the Visual Resources Collection, Archivision, Artist-in-Residence Collection, Dickinson College Studio Faculty Collection and Senior Art Studio Seminar Collection. For further assistance contact the Visual Resources Librarian. *(If you are using remote access you must register and log in to access the restriced institutional digital collections.)


  • Access Ceramics: A site that has a growing collection of digital images of contemporary ceramic works. Thus far the contributing 300+ artists encompasses a broad and varied scope of ceramists in the World. Per each image there is a License--click on the hyperlink to review what the artist will allow you to do with that image.
  • Archiplanet: Sponsored by Architecture Week, this evolving Wiki continues to build a respoitory of architecture. If you need to download images you must get consent from the original creator and is your responsibility. For further inquiries please contact the Visual Resources Librarian.
  • Artstor (tutorial): You must be affiliated with Dickinson College or another institution that subscribes to ARTstor. Contains over 2+ million digital images in humanities, social sciences, art, anthropology, amongst other discourses. The image database also contains panaramic views and videos. ARTstor has a quiz mode and a shuffle mode for studying for exams and quizzes. Contact the Visual Resources Librarian for more information.
  • Artsy: Fair Use downloadable images from Artsy. All periods including Contemporary and Modern work. This is the only page on Artsy that provides downloadable images within the public domain. In general, this site is rich with Contemporary and Modern work, and may include current gallery information, such as price and provenance. Artsy also has an iphone app.
  • Art UK: UK's largest public image collection. Over 300,000 works from 3,400 British Institutions.
  • Biodiversity Heritage Library on Flickr: About 160,000 images (and growing!) on Flickr that are available for free and in the Public Domain. The collection includes animal sketches, historical diagrams, botanical studies, and scientific research. For assistance with downloading images and citation contact the Visual Resources Librarian.
  • British Museum: 3.5 million objects from the collection for Fair Use purposes. Most images are under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). Please see their Terms of Use for further information.
  • Bridgeman Education Image Bank: Copyright cleared educational use image database. Over 500,000 images that can be downloaded for fair use purposes, placed in their own presentation system, or filed in your personal account. Each user must register initially for the free trial, which is 14 days. 
  • Chartres Cathedral of Notre Dame: UPITT's Collection of images about Chartres. Approximately 3400 images. This collection is hosted by the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh on behalf of Professor Emerita M. Alison Stones, Ph.D. Permission is granted for educational use only, provided the appropriate copyright is acknowledged on every image used (see the copyright link on every image). Any other use of these images without the express written consent of the copyright holder is prohibited.
  • Cleveland Museum of Art: The online collection of the Cleveland Museum. Please review their Image and Data Services for Rights and Restrictions for image use, including personal and fair use purposes.
  • The Drawings of Florentine Painters: Based on Bernard Berenson's original three editions in print (1903, 1938, and 1961) the digitized version is now available for you to search by artist, title, technique and location. Many of the entries also have links to the Museum.
  • Duchamp Research Portal: It provides free access to documents and artwork, comprising nearly 50,000 digitized images related to the work and life of Marcel Duchamp.
  • Europeana: European based digital images, videos, and exhibitions. Hundreds of European institutions that aggregate their material such as, prints, sculpture, drawings, architecture, photographs, and paintings. Commons copyright friendly and open source.
  • Freer and Sackler Galleries: approximately 40,000 images for fair use and non commercial use purposes only.
  • Getty Images: Photographs for non-commercial use. This use is intended for embedding photographs within the Editorial and Creative Stocks into websites, blogs, and other social media platforms. Millions of images are available. 
  • Getty Images Open Content Program: 87,000 images available for fair use purposes based on the Getty Search Gateway portal. The available collections are 16th through 18th century paintings, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, antiquities, sculpture, decorative arts, artists' sketchbooks, watercolors, and rare prints, besides thirty years of Italian art and architecture by the German photographer Max Hutzel.
  • Harvard University Art Museums: Approximately 225,000 online works from the Harvard Art Museums Collections. Please refer to their Terms of Use under Permitted Uses.
  • Icons of Sinai: Princeton University's archive of images during their expeditions to the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai. It's approximately 1200 images of predominantly Byzantine icons in color from the 1950's and 1960's.
  • Ideas Project Collection: Image database to enhance East Asian Studies. This is a growing collection regarding Asian based images from ASIANetwork Luce Asian Art Undergraduate Project.
  • Japanese Censorship Collection: This Library of Congress Image database is of Japanese censored prints and book plate items. Approximately 1400 items are in this collection and are from the 1920's and 1930's.
  • JSTOR: You must be affiliated with Dickinson College or another institution that subscribes to JSTOR. Contains millions of digital images from cultural heritage institutions, including Dickinson College's Visual Resources Center's collections. Contact the Visual Resources Librarian for more information to learn more about features, such as creating groups and presenting four images at once.
  • Media History Digital Library: An Open Access website that provides assets from magazines and journals that comprise of media history, including tv, radio and film. All assets are in the Public Domain.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art: Approximately 420,000 online objects from the Metropolitan's Museum of Art Collection. Please review the Terms and Conditions for image use and image permission, including Fair Use.
  • Museum of Fine Arts: Objects housed in the Museum of Fine Arts Collection. Please review their Terms of Use, even for Fair Use purposes.
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington DC): NGAs Image Collection contains approximately 20,000 images for Fair Use downloading. The download for presentation purposes will be 1200 pixels, while there are images available for publication at 3000 pixels. Not all images within their collection will be available for online use. If you utilize one of these images please credit the image. If you need further assistance regarding please contact me.
  • Nationalmuseum Stockholm: Over 3,000 images from the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm are available on WikiMedia Commons.
  • National Portrait Gallery (London, England): Approximately 87,000 images from The National Portrait Gallery Collection are accessible for academic and non-commercial purposes. The licensing will vary by image. Click on the image, then underneath the image there will be Use this ImageIf you click on that link there will be more information on the licensing of that image. The academic, "low resolution" image should suffice for many purposes at 2400 pixels per side and 300dpi. If you would prefer a high resolution image, please contact me and I'll acquire one for the VRC.
  • Newberry Library Collection: 1.7 million artifact items available online for Open Access and Re-Use without Licensing or Permission Fees. The material includes broadsides, maps, prints, manuscripts, architecture books, Chicago history, Pullman Digital, Western Americana and Worlds Fair's to name just a few collections. Some of the collections are located in Internet Archive.
  • NYPL's Public Domain Collection: Approximately 180,000 items in the New York Public Library's Digital Collection is released to the public as no known copyright restriction. Free to share, use, and reuse. Each item will have a copyright statement at the bottom. Please read that carefully to confirm that the image you want to use, is in fact in the public domain. For further information please contact the VRC.
  • Paris Musées Collections: An aggregated collection from about 14 Museums in Paris, are providing about 150,000 images and counting in the Public Domain. Users will download a zip file that contains an HD image, with correlating metadata, and a guide of best practices for using and citing the sources of the image. If you need assistance on downloading the images, please contact the Visual Resources Librarian.
  • Paul Mellon Centre Photographic Archive: A collaborative effort between the Paul Mellon Centre in the UK and Yale Universities Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. The collection consists of photographs, sculpture, architecture, sketchbooks, decorative arts, and paitnings.
  • Princeton University Art Museum: The Princeton University Art Museum's object collection. Please refer to their Terms and Conditions, even when using images for Fair Use purposes.
  • Public Domain Pictures: Public domain pictures. Mainly photographs. Gives you the dimensions and size of the download.
  • Rijksmuseum Collection: Some of the Rijksmuseum's collection is now located in Wikimedia Commons under the Public Domain.
  • Open Culture: free cultural and educational resources on the web, including an aggregated section for free images, video, audio and ebooks. 
  • The Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan: Images from their collection, 3-D and Virtual Reality, plus objects related to digital exhibitions. Please refer to their Copyright Declaration page, even when using images for Fair Use purposes.
  • Smithsonian Institutions Collections Search Center database: Over 16 million records of museum objects, archives and library materials, more than 4.2 million online images, audio & videos and blog posts. Results for CC0 is a Creative Commons Zero license and free copyright restrictions for all users. You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. Enjoy!
  • VADS: Based out of the UK, this resource offers images and collections for the Visual Arts. There are multiple collections aggregated together such as: Charles Rennie Mackintosh's
    Northern Italian Sketchbook, Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland, Glasgow School of Art Magazine, Imperial War Museum: Posters of Conflict, and Royal College of Art Collection, to name a few.
  • The Walters Museum of Art: Images from their collection on Creative Commons Zero No Rights Reserved licensing in Wikimedia Commons. The museums permanent collection consists of Ancient, Ancient Americas, Asian, Islamic, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Art Collections. Please review the Creative Commons hyperlink above for appropriate citation with this collection.
  • Wellcome Images: The images can be downloaded in high resolution and users are able to freely copy, distribute, edit, manipulate, and build upon for personal or commercial use, since they are being released under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. The images range from medical manuscripts to etchings by Van Gogh and Goya. 
  • Web Gallery of Art: Image Database that holds approximately 26,000 digital images based on European Paintings from circa 1000-1900.
  • Yale Digital Collections: Approximately 500,000 images thus far from various collections, such as, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, AdHoc Image and Text on the History of Christianity, Arabic and Middle Eastern Library, Arts of the Book, Lewis Walpole Library, Medical Digital Library, Divinity Digital Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Ross Archive of African Images, Yale University Art Gallery, and more. Please take note to use IE or Mozilla/Firefox as your web browser and that some collections will not be obtainable, unless you're part of the Yale community. These collections are: Birren Collection of Books on Color, Music Theory Treatises, and the Visual Resources Collection.