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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.

Subject Librarian for Art & Architecture

Profile Photo
Jennifer Akins
Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library,
ground floor (001)

Visual Materials Processing Archivist

Art and Architecture Librarian

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Rina Vecchiola
Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library

Kemper Museum Building Ground Floor
(314) 935-7658

Images Contacts

Jennifer Akins

Subject Librarian for Art and Architecture


Andrea Degener

Visual Materials Processing Archivist


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.

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.

Getting Things Done in ArchivesSpace, or, Fun with APIs - Bitstreams: The  Digital Collections Blog ArchivesSpace 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.

JSTOR HomeJSTOR- An interdisciplinary database with 3+ million (and growing) images from museums, photo archives, scholars and artists in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences. (Contains images from the database ARSTOR, which is undergoing a migration to this platform.)

 Library of Congress Collections - The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections. Several are digitized.

Public Domain -   The term “public domain” refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. They are works owned by the public, not an individual author or artist.

There are four common ways that works arrive in the public domain:

  • the copyright has expired 
  • the copyright owner failed to follow copyright renewal rules
  • the copyright owner deliberately places it in the public domain (creative commons license)
  • copyright law does not protect this type of work

From Welcome to the Public Domain. Stanford University Libraries. (CC BY-NC 3.0 US)

 Always check the license to verify if your use is allowed. See also the Copyright and Fair Use section of this guide.




Google Advanced Image Search allows you to select features such as size, type, color 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.



  • AIGA Design Archives - With more than 20,000 selections dating back to 1924, the AIGA Design Archives is a vital record of all disciplines of communication design.

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

Health Sciences:

gray's anatomy image

The palmar aponeurosis by Henry Gray. Anatomy of the Human Body, 1918.  


      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. 

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

       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.

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.



 Image credit: Pictorial St. Louis, plate 42. (By C.N. Dry, 1876). Artstor.

  Institutional Resources:

Delmar Boulevard, looking east, about 1925 from Missouri Digital Heritage