Skip to main content
Banner Image

Visual Resources: General Image Resources

The Yale University Visual Resources Collection's guide to digital image resources.

Images in FindIt and Arts Library Digital Collections

Image Source Note

Many of the images in the Visual Resources Digital Collections are scans from books, slides, or reproductions in our collection.  Information on the original resource can usually be found in the Source Note or Call Number field of the item record.  Please consult the original source for information on the image’s copyright.

Digital Collection Image Source
















Rights, Reproductions, Permissions

The copyright of a work of art itself is distinct from any rights of the photograph or digital image depicting the work and may be held by individuals or entities other than the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library. Yale Library cannot grant permission to use images of works held in its collection where copyright is held by other entities. While use of such images may be possible under “fair use” or “fair dealing” provisions in the copyright laws of some jurisdictions, the Arts Library is unable to advise image users in making legal determinations.

If you believe that the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library is the rights holder (unique holdings or special collections), please contact us at


Trending . . . Open Access Museum Images


With the launch of NGA Images, the National Gallery of Art implements an open access policy for digital images of works of art that the Gallery believes to be in the public domain. Images of these works are now available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Gallery for authorization to use these images. NGA Images offers more than 20,000 open access images.  Click here for recent additions.

For open access images in ARTstor's collection, see their Images for Academic Publishing (IAP) initiaitve

National Portrait Gallery, London

The National Portrait Gallery (London) provides downloads of a large range of images for academic and non-commercial projects through a new website facility. Over 53,000 low-resolution images will now be available free of charge to non-commercial users through a standard ‘Creative Commons’ licence and over 87,000 high-resolution images will also be available free of charge for academic use through the Gallery’s own licences.

General Image Resources


Resources marked with this symbol     indicate that ithe resource is only accessible either on campus or via VPN (Virtual Private Network) if you are off campus. All active Yale NetIDs are automatically authorized to use the VPN service.  Read more about VPN here.


Yale University Digital Collections

Yale Visual Resources Collection  

The Visual Resources Collection is a digital library of over 370,000 images of global art and architecture. Faculty in the Arts and Humanities at Yale are welcomed to submit requests for new digital content. This site allows users to create groups of images, annotate them, add outside content to the groups as well as share them.


Yale University Digital Collections

The cross-collection search includes over 600,000 images in selected Library Digital Collections. For a listing of collections covered by the search, or for individual collection access, see the Advanced Search page. For a listing of all collections see Digital Collections by Name. Some of the collections are only available on campus or via VPN.  The site also includes a suite of teaching and learning tools, such as making a gallery/group of images and annotating it, available for patrons with a Yale NetID.



ARTstor, an initiative of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is a subscription-based digital image resource with more than 1,300,000 images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences. The ARTstor Web site offers a variety of tools for teaching support.


Yale University Art Gallery

Search the Gallery's image database of over 80,000 objects from the Gallery's comprehensive collections of world art from antiquity to the present.


Yale Center for British Art

Search across the Yale Center for British Art's online catalogue, currently representing over one hundred thousand records from the Center's collections.


Yale University Department of Classics  

The Classics Collection of digital images includes more than 6,000 images of excavations, site views, maps, site plans, elevations, and photos of all kinds of objects representing both high and low ancient material culture in the Classical world. Over the years, contibutions have come from teaching and research collections of the Classics Department; students, as well as faculty of the Departments of Classics, History, and History of Art.


Yale University Library Arts of the Book Ephemera Collection

Arts of the Book Collection has a growing collection of ephemera documenting the world of contemporary book arts. As information about book artists and events can be difficult to find, making the materials available on the Internet will offer improved access to a wider group of readers.


Yale University Library Manuscripts and Archives

Manuscripts and Archives Digital Images Database (MADID) contains digital reproductions of photographs, posters, drawings, text documents, and other images taken from the research collections of Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library. The database continues to grow as patrons request the digitization of additional materials.


Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Digital Library

Search 250,000 digitized images of photographs, textual documents, illuminated manuscripts, maps, works of art, and books from the Beinecke's collections.


Other Digital Image Resources

Arkyves: A Database of Early Modern Imagery

This a subscription-based Web site. Yale is not currently a subscriber. Individuals may subscribe for access. This link is provided as a convenience to Library patrons who may wish to learn more about this resource. "Arkyves is dedicated to images and to the study of their meaning. It is a storehouse of pictures and texts, but also provides you with research tools you may need when studying them, or when discussing your finds with students or colleagues." 

Art History Resources on the Web       

 A rich collection of Web-based resources covering all areas of Art History, developed and maintained by Prof. Christopher Witcombe.

The Athenaeum
         Over 50,000 images of European and American painting  


Search high quality images on Flickr.  Read their disclaimer.


Biblioteca Nacional de España on Flickr

The National Library of Spain houses copies of every book published in Spain. In addition, there are valuable collections of incunabula, manuscripts, prints, drawings, photographs, sound recordings, sheet music, etc


Bildarchiv Foto Marburg 

Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte - Bildarchiv Foto Marburg is a research resource supported by the Philipps University in Marburg.  Its mission is to collect, index and make available photographs related to European art and architecture. Approximately 2 million images of the art and architecture from thirteen European countries contributed by about 80 partnering institutions including archives, museums, universities and research institutes.

British Library Images Online

Provides access to the British Library's greatest images from their vast collections with the option to license hi-res images for commercial purposes.  Images for educational use are available at 500 pixels (about a half of a projector screen resolution).


Courtauld Institute of Art: Art and Architecture

A collection of more than 40,000 images, mostly black and white, drawn from resources at the Courtauld Institute, University of London.

Credo Reference  

Credo Reference finds encylcopedia entries and other reference materials across a diverse set of subjects. It  includes access to 60,000 high-quality searchable images (photographs, fine art, scientific diagrams, line drawings, and more).  Most notable images include hi-resolution images from the National Gallery London.


Digital Images Collections Wiki

The Digital Images Collections Wiki is a resource of Free- and Fair-Use digital image collections that are available for anyone to use for personal or educational purposes. It was started to support students and faculty at Wellesley College.


Digital Portrait Index

A German Research Foundation (DFG) project, this database contains over 257 000 graphic portraits of clerics, rulers, artists, merchants,    etc., from major German museum and library collections.


Europeana is a single access point to millions of books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitised throughout Europe. It is an authoritative source of information coming from European cultural and scientific institutions. 

Flickr Commons

More and more cultural heritage institutions are contributing digital images to Flickr.  The Smithsonian, Brooklyn Museum, the Getty, and Library of Congress are just a few of them.


France, Centre des Monuments Nationaux, Banque d'Images des Monuments

French government Department of Cultural Affairs Web site including access to their library of 450,000 images.  The images are watermarked and therefore of limited use for presentations.  But this resource is valuable for reference and research.


Gallica : France, Bibliotheque Nationale and Partner Sites in France

Web Portal to digital collections in French public institutions selected for their compatibility with the collections of the BnF. These documents are indexed in Gallica, via OAI-PMH, but remain available on their original sites.


Hoover Institution Political Poster Database (Stanford University)

Small images, full catalog entries, cross-reference


Internet History Sourcebooks

The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use.  Paul Halsall, Editor.


Institute of Museums and Library Services Digital Collections

Gateway to the digital collections that were funded by IMLS grants.  Contains information and links to about 200 digital image collections.


Library of Congress American Memory Project

American Memory is the gateway to 9 million digitized items organized into 100 thematic collections from the Library of Congress’s vast resources that document U.S. history and culture. Original formats include manuscripts, prints, photographs, posters, maps, sound recordings, motion pictures, books, pamphlets, and sheet music.


Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog

This online catalog features nearly one million digital images taken from the Library's 50+ collections of prints and photographs. Included are images from the the National Child Labor Committee Collection, the U.S. News and World Report Magazine Photograph Collection, the Library of Congress Baseball Card Collection, and the Collection of Architecture, Design and Engineering Drawings.


Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, funded by the Heilbrunn Foundation, New Tamarind Foundation, and Zodiac Fund, is a chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of the history of art from around the world, as illustrated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection. The Metropolitan Museum's curatorial, conservation, and education staff research and write the Timeline, which is an invaluable reference and research tool for students, educators, scholars, and anyone interested in the study of art history and related subjects. First launched in 2000, the Timeline now extends from prehistory to the present day. It will continue to expand in scope and depth, and reflect the most up-to-date scholarship.


National Gallery of Art, NGA Images, Washington, D.C.


NGA Images is a repository of digital images of the collections of the National Gallery of Art. On this website you can search, browse, share, and download images. A standards-based reproduction guide and a help section provide advice for both novices and experts. More than 20,000 open accessdigital images up to 3000 pixels each are available free of charge for download and use.


National Park Service | Digital Image Archives

This webpage provides links to public domain digital images of many of those sites, including national parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites and related areas.



New York Public Library Digital Gallery

NYPL Digital Gallery offers thousands of digital images of drawings, illuminated manuscripts, maps, photographs, posters, prints, rare illustrated books, and more. Collections cover artworks and objects, creators, dance, design, furniture, motion pictures, music, ornament, performance, spectacle, theatre, advertising, book binding, dust jackets, friendship books, menus, post cards, posters, trade and greeting cards. Collections include Bernice Abbott's WPA Changing New York photographs, "Classic 6:" New York City Apartment Building Living 1880s-1910s, Metropolis: New York City Water and Transit Infrastructure in Photographs, and many more.


Oxford Art Online 

The collective resource of Grove Art Online and other Oxford databases with links to images from the articles.


Oxford University | A Selection of Digital Initiative across the University and Museums

In addition, check the Web sites of indivudal colleges, halls, libraries and museums for updates.


Public Domain Images at Wikimedia

Wikimedia’s Public Domain Image Resource contains links to sites offering public domain digital images. The presence of a resource on this list does not guarantee that all or any of the images in it are in the public domain.  The user is responsible for any potential copyright infringement.


Smithsonian Collections Search Center: Digital Collections

Over 568,000 images, video and audio available from across the Smithsonian's vast collections


United Kingdom National Trust Image Collections

  Over 750,000 images of British historic architecture and objects of material culture


US Government Photos and Images

A variety of images from many aspects of US government departments

VADS: Visual Arts Data Service (UK)

Over 100,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in learning, teaching and research

Visual Collections

Over 300,000 images from museums, universities and private collections can be found through this site which uses LUNA Insight as its viewer. LUNA Commons is another website that contains many of these collections, but that also offers users tools to create groups of images and share content.


Wikimedia Commons

"An online repository of free-use images, sound and other media files. It is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation..."



The project aims to create a high-quality, most complete and well-structured online repository of fine art. 



World Digital Library

Digital library of primary materials from across the globe.




World Images

The internationally recognized WorldImages database provides access to the California State University IMAGE Project. It has just been selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in its historic collection of Internet materials. It contains approximately 80,000 images, is global in coverage and includes all areas of visual imagery.



NYPL Digital Gallery provides free and open access to over 800,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections

The Courtuald Institute of Art Art and Architecture web site offered more than 40,000 images and a network of over half a million links.

The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History is an exploration of the history of art from around the world as illustrated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection.

Europeana is a single access point to millions of books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitised throughout Europe. 

Oxford Art Online is the access point for Grove Art Online, the Benezit Dictionary of Artists, and other Oxford art reference resources

Bildarchiv Foto Marburg contains approximately 2 million images of European art and architecture contributed by about 80 partnering institutions.