William Henry Fox Talbot, A Scene in a Library, c. 1844, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Retreived from http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/283066. Image in the public domain CC0.
Authoritative Online Image Resources
When including images in your academic work, it is preferable to use images accompanied by authoritative metadata to both provide context and to make the images easier to cite. Listed below is a selection of digital image resources from museum, archive, and library collections. These types of image collections provide trustworthy metadata, in-depth information, and high quality images. Most of these collections are available for educational use, but please note image rights vary from site to site.
Artefacts Canada - Humanities
Digital Public Library of America
Europeana is a multilingual cultural heritage portal with images contributed by European libraries, museums, archives, and multi-media collections. Rights are clearly indicated and vary by contributor. Check out Europeana Terms and Policies.
Getty Search Gateway
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Collection
Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection spans over 5,000 years of art from around the world. You can filter your search by creator, object type, geographical location, date, and museum department. You can also search for public domain works only. See Terms and conditions for details.
New York Public Library Digital Collections
VADS (Visual Arts Data Service) is an online resource for art and design that offers a portfolio of visual art collections comprising over 100,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in learning, teaching, and research in the UK. VADS also offers a series of learning and teaching resources based around their image collections, written by subject specialist authors and lecturers. Check out VADS Terms: Common Access Agreement for Individuals.
Washington University Libraries Digital Collections
This site features materials such as photographs, maps, newspapers, posters, reports, and other media from the University of Washington Libraries, University of Washington Faculty and Departments, and organizations that have participated in partner projects with the UW Libraries. The collections emphasize rare and unique materials. See UW Libraries Digital Collections Ordering and Use Terms.
Wellcome Library is the world's major resources for the study of medical history. The Library's digital collections cover a wide variety of topics, including asylums, food, sex and sexual health, genetics, public health and war. Published books, pamphlets, archives, posters, photographs, and film and sound recordings are completely free to view. Digitised materials are released under a variety of Creative Commons non-commercial, attribution and Public Domain licenses. See the section Using the Library's Digital Content for more details.
World Digital Library
WorldImages provides access to the California State University IMAGE Project and contains approximately 100,000 images, is global in coverage, and includes all areas of visual imagery. You are free to use these images for non-profit educational purposes, but you must give credit to the copyright holders who retain rights to the images. These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License.