The Web Library: Building a World Class Personal Library with Free Web Resources

Online companion to the book. Frequently updated: last update = 5-24-06
copyright Nick Tomaiuolo 2005

Chapter Six:  When Image Is Everything

Art Images for College Teaching (AICT)
The express purpose of this database, which offers 1,100 images personally photographed by the site's creator, art historian and visual resources librarian Allan Kohl, is to freely disseminate images of important art and architecture.  The collection is organized into five categories: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance & Baroque, 18th – 20th Century, and Non-Western, but one cannot search for specific images. Each photograph is concisely described and accompanied by cross references to where the subject is discussed in one or more of 20 widely used art history survey textbooks. Emphasizing that the site is a “Free Use Educational Resource,” Kohl encourages any use that is both educational and non-commercial, which will help faculty without the resources to buy access to expensive collections.

Big Search Engine Index to Images 
Links to popular and lesser known image depositories.

Biomed Images from Sci7
Search access to 21500 images.

British Library Images
This resource that gives you instant access to thousands of images from the British Library's unparalleled collections. Allows you to search, order and purchase and download images. Note: the site states, "If you require Low Resolution images (72dpi) for personal or school use you can simply copy the images free of charge."

6 million low cost images; offers
online subscriptions for clipart, web graphics, photos, and fonts.

A reasonably good tool for locating images and relevant sites where the images originate.

Excite Image Search
(select "photos" button)

FAST Multimedia Search
Large search engine -- second only to Google -- culling the web for your keywords.

Google Image Search
According to Google, it searches 425,000,000 images. Advanced search options are available; searches can be performed in "Safesearch" mode [screened for adult content --not necessarily reliable].

"Images Canada" A bilingual site offering thousands of images warranted for non-commercial use. Images Canada is a portal to its partnering websites photo collections (users may search or use preformulated "image trails").

Images of History on the Web
Read this article by David Mattison and discover excellent sites for historical images.

Ithaki Image and Photo Metasearch
Ithaki uses
Google, Dino Cobion, Visoo, Altavista Images, Fast Picture Search/All the Web, Picsearch, and

Ithaki Multimedia Metasearch
Search the most efficient multimedia search engines simultaneously; finds Webcams, midis, MP3s; the image search is a subset of the multimedia search engine.

Lightbox Photography
Travel photographs -- mainly Europe, Asia, and Africa

Lycos Multimedia Search
Sometimes locates images that Google does not find.

New York Public Library Digital Gallery
A free service offering hundreds of thousands of digital images of historical materials from its Research Libraries' original, rare and specialized holdings. NYPL provides free and open access to its Digital Gallery and images may be freely downloaded for personal, research and study purposes only.

New York Times Photo Archives
This is a commercial site, designed to display images that you may be persuaded to purchase, but it's 1,200 searchable photos from the past 100 years may interest you.

PhotoZone (U.S. Census Bureau)
Public domain images. You may use the photos in newsletters, flyers, brochures or other informational materials.

Relatively family friendly, Picsearch seems to automatically screen out adult content even when searched with suggestive words and phrases.

Public Health Image Library from the Centers for Disease Control. "PHIL" allows keyword searching for photos, illustrations and multimedia files. For example, a quick search on "syndrome" yields 115 hits, most in the public domain. The files include explanations of the images; the images are downloadable.

Thinker Image Base
The ImageBase is a searchable image and text database of objects from the collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor). The collections (110,000+ objects) belong to the people of the City and County of San Francisco. The ImageBase is an expression of the Museum's mission to provide meaningful public access to the collections and behave more like a resource and less like a repository.

Examples of Image Collections
American Memory at the Library of Congress
You can enter any of 64 specific collections (e.g., Leonard Bernstein, Ansel Adams, baseball cards, the Golden Age of Jazz and others) or search the collections.

150,000 works of art.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Awed by natural disasters? Search in a database of 9,200 digital images. And because, in general, FEMA images are not copyrighted, you can use them in presentations, reports, and Web pages. The site has an accurate search engine, which makes looking for images of hurricanes and the rubble at Ground Zero simple.

A useful site for locating clip art, photos, and other graphics.

Free Images and Free Stock Photos
Free images is a high quality resource of digital stock photographic images for use by all. All images are free to use on websites and printed materials (Terms Apply). But users may not redistribute these images as a collection or part of a collection. If you use our images a credit to the site is required. All the images are original to the site. Most images are 1152x864 or 1200x1600, all are 24-bit maximum quality jpeg. is a large collection of free photographs for private non-commercial use on the Internet. The comprehensive, yet easy to navigate site features 50 main sections with over 1600 sub headings. The photographs are free to private non-commercial users and for sale to other users. 58,000 exclusive images.

Prints and Photographs Reading Room at the Library of Congress
See collections from popular topics including presidential inaugurations, or search the prints/photographs collections.

Metasearch for digital images, including architecture, art, sheet music, digital text, posters, maps, and manuscripts in the collections of seventy institutions.

United States Department of Agriculture Image Gallery
Browse or search a comprehensive collection of graphics related to animals, crops, research, and insects.

Visual Collections presented by David Rumsey
Visual Collections allows you to view more than 300,000 images, including Rumsey's incredible historical map collection. Over 30 individual collections are organized on this page into tabs at the page top. They include architecture, cartography, fine arts, "other" and photography -- or choose the tab that says "View All." Caution: some of the collections are fee-based (e.g., the expansive AMICO Library) but the majority of the sites presented here at viewable without charge.

More image resources

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