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Finding Images

This guide provides information about digital image collections and other image resources of interest to artists, architects, art historians, and others studying visual culture at Washington University in Saint Louis.

Fall 2016 Research Studios

Register for Using Visual Collections for Research workshop: Sep 19 @noon
Register for Using Visual Collections for Research workshop: Oct 20 @ 5:30

Images Contacts

Jennifer Akins

Subject Librarian for Art and Architecture


‚ÄčAndrea Degener

Visual Materials Processing Archivist


Skye Lacerte

Curator, Modern Graphic History Library


Rina Vecchiola

Art and Architecture Librarian


Image Resources by Subject

Multidisciplinary Image Resources - These images have been licensed for use by the WUSTL Community for educational purposes. Check restrictions before using and refer ot the Copyright and Fair Use page of this guide.

 Artstor - Over 1.8 million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences. Artstor Subject Guides

 Archon Digital content from the department of Special Collections, WU Libraries. 

DPLA The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of  America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world.

Associated Press (AP) Images - historical and contemporary images including breaking news, sports, business, entertainment, weather, fashion and travel. 1826 to the present.


Academic Search Complete - Multidisciplinary images. Use the Image Quick View Types feature at the bottom of the search page to limit to results with accompanying image.

Public Domain Per, "Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner." Below are some resources for identifying public domain works. Always check the license to verify if your use is allowed. See also the Copyright and Fair Use section of this guide.


Google Images try advanced features under Search Tools, such as size, type and license (usage rights).


Creative Commons - CC Search enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools, providing convenient access to Google Image, Flickr and Wikimedia Commons.


Flickr - The Commons provides access to publicly-held photography collections from cultural institutions around the world, including the Smithsonian, Getty, NASA, and the National Media Museum.


 Harvard Law School - Public Domain Media list of several public domain image sources and search tools.


In Advanced Search, select 'Art Reproduction' in Document Type.

In Advanced Search, select 'Art Reproduction' in Document Type.

Use 'Document feature' to select type of image (illustration, photo, sketch, plan, etc).

Landscape Architecture:


Image credit: Ad for Van Camp's Pork and Beans from Ladies' Home Journal, December 1911/From the Periodicals Collections


      Mar's Exploration Program posterNASA/JPL


These sources were adapted from ALA's Digital Collections Image Guide.

American Philosophical Society - Anthropology Images Collections concerning archaeology, linguistics, cultural anthropology, and physical anthropology, the APS is a rich resource of images depicting both the study of these disciplines and the people who practiced them

Image credit:

Entrance to the Ossuary, Chichén Itzá
Collection: A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library
Accession Number: 15/5/3090.00656
Title: Entrance to the Ossuary, Chichén Itzá
Photograph date: ca. 1895-ca. 1935
Building Date: 9th-12th century
Location: North and Central America: Mexico; Chichen Itzá
Materials: gelatin silver print

United States and International:

  • David Rumsey Map Collection  - The historical map collection has over 66,000 maps and images online. The collection includes rare 16th through 21st century maps of America, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Pacific and the World.

Popular collection categories are celestial, antique atlas, globe, school geography, maritime chart, state, county, city, pocket, wall & case, children's, and manuscript maps. Search examples: Pictorial maps, United States maps, Geology maps, California map, Afghanistan map, America map, New York City map, Chicago map, and U.S. Civil War maps. Browse  map categories: What, Where, Who, When. 

       World's Fair 1904 round celluloid pinback button with a metal back. David Rumsey Map Collection.


      [Detail] Field of Gettysburg, July 1st, 2nd & 3rd, 1863. Library of Congress.

  • Broer Map Library - worldwide collection of historic maps, primarily from the 19th & 20th centuries. Various types of maps and subject matter.
  • World Digital Library - The WDL makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from all countries and cultures.
  • Old Maps Online - large collection of historical maps from libraries.
  • New York Public Library Digital Collections  - images of historical maps from around the world.
  • reliefweb - maps of current disasters and crises, search by country or event.


  • St. Louis Area Historic Maps - A guide to locating historic maps of the St. Louis (Missouri) regional area.
  • Sanborn Maps Sanborn maps date back to the 1860s and were created as a detailed building record by the Sanborn Fire Insurance Company. They are large scale (50 feet to the inch) and highly detail and include such information as building location, construction materials, and building height.
  • GIS for Architecture Research Guide - Research focused on GIS and architecture.

      Sanborn Maps, St. Louis, v.5. 1903-, last updated 1964.

St. Louis Maps:

St. Louis Neighborhoods Contemporary maps of St. Louis city neighborhoods.

Summaries of Historical City Planning Index and date listings for St. Louis city plans created 1875-1990; check WU libraries for copies of original plans.

University Archives The Harland Bartholomew and Associates Collection is a wonderful source for detailed maps of St. Louis in the 20th century.


   (Pictorial St. Louis) plate 42. (By C.N. Dry, 1876). LUNA.

  Institutional Resources: