Media Arts & Design: Images

Locate images from a variety of resources in the Library collection and freely available online

Image sources

There are many possible sources of images. For example:

  • books
  • journals
  • exhibition catalogues
  • films
  • websites
  • organisations
  • images available online via the Library collection
  • searchable image databases

The Library has purchased access to hundreds of thousands of images while many more are freely accessible. View our guide below for more help:

Trove's Pictures, photos, objects

Violet Teague, 'Flinders Ranges', 1933, watercolour on paper [out of copyright, Image Source: State Library of Victoria,]

Violet Teague 1933, 'Flinders Ranges', watercolour on paper, 13.2cm x 18.3cm

Attributing images licenced for reuse


Photo by Joanna Kosinska on

Image Databases

The Library subscribes to several databases which feature images. Select one of the tabs above to view some examples or go to our list of databases relevant for Art Images or Digital Images

ARTstor logo [Image courtesy of ARTstor]

Access ARTstor - provides access to over one million high resolution images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and social sciences. Images are relevant to a variety of areas including visual art, architecture, fashion and costume, architecture and design.

Search by title/creator (e.g. artist/architect) or browse by geography, classification (e.g. Prints) and year. Unfortunately you can't search by topic (e.g. face, street). For example:

  • images of work by Louise Bourgeois, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Judy Chicago, Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock

Features include the ability to zoom in to detail, download images into PowerPoint presentations and export citation data to bibliographic management software such as EndNote. Register for a free account to save images for later use and create image groups. More about ARTstor


Oxford Art Online

Oxford Art Online offers access to authoritative, inclusive, and easily searchable online art resources

Use the search box on the home page to enter keywords. You can then refine your results to Format: Image

See the Tools and Resources section for links to:

  • Subject Guides - each guide includes a brief introduction to a popular topic in visual arts, with links to key essays and biographies as well as external resources;
  • Timelines of World Art which offer overviews of the development of the visual arts across the globe, organised into 6 geographic regions;
  • and more...

Free image sources

Free images

There are millions of images on the internet but not all of them are available for reuse. Select one of the tabs above to find sources of images available to reuse

View the video above for more information

Vitra Fire Station, Zaha Hadid Architects [Wojtek Gurak, 'Vitra Fire Station', CC Licence: CC BY-NC 2.0, Image Source: Flickr]Search a collection of over five billion photographs on this photo sharing site.

Contributors range from individuals to cultural institutions and government organisations such as NASA. Video content is also available.

A significant number of images, such as this one, are available under Creative Commons licenses.

Flickr Advanced Search allows you to refine your search by applying a number of limits. This includes the option to restrict your results to Creative Commons-licensed content.

Free high-resolution photos in the public domain (CCO 1.0) allowing you to download, copy, modify, distribute and use the photos.

Wellcome Images Search

Search across more than 100 000 images. A variety of material is available, with key themes being medicine, the history of medicine, human culture and contemporary healthcare.

All images are freely available for use in non-commercial study and research.