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Image Resources: How to Cite Your Images

Yale University's Arts Library Digital Services guide to digital image resources.

WHAT EXPERT RESEARCHERS KNOW

Digital images, like text, must be cited when used in papers, articles, books, etc. Don't forget that citing a digitized version of an image is different than citing the original object. 

Recommended Books

How to Cite Images

Consult citation style guides (typically Chicago Manual of Style or MLA Handbook) and note the components below while you are collecting and managing your images—this will save time later when you cite your images. Citation style guides will detail specific formatting, but these are the major parts:

  • Creator’s name
  • Title of work
  • Date of composition
  • Medium
  • Name and location of institution housing the work
  • Image hyperlink

Citation Guidelines for Digital Images

Chicago Manual of Style
The Chicago Manual of Style: Online version of the 17th edition. See chapter 14 for detailed information on artworks. 


Here is an example of a proper citation for a photograph in Chicago Style. The image is from the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division online catalog. 

 


Footnote or Endnote
Ann Rosener, "Don't let pretty labels on cans mislead you," 1942, Photograph, Washington D.C., Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, FSA – OWI Collection, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8e10753. 

Bibliography
Rosener, Ann. "Don't let pretty labels on cans mislead you," 1942. Photograph. Washington D.C., Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, FSA – OWI Collection. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8e10753 (accessed June 10, 2008).

 

Additional citation guidelines:
 

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabian is available at numerous Yale Libraries has ample information in a section called Visual Sources. Turabian style indicates paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other artworks should only be cited in notes, not bibliographies. Titles of paintings are italicized while titles of photographs are set in quotation marks.

Examples:
 

Georgia O'Keefe, The Cliff Chimneys, 1938, Milwaukee Art Museum.

Ann Rosener, "Don't let pretty labels on cans mislead you," 1942. Photograph, Washington D.C., Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, FSA – OWI Collection, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8e10753.

 

Provided by Ian McDermott, formerly Assistant Librarian at the Yale Center for British Art

Arts Librarian

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Tess Colwell
Contact:
Arts Librarian for Research Services, Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library
203-432-2641
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