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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.

Search Tips

Actress Jane Fonda, AP Images, 6/18/83Searching for Images

Unlike searching for text sources where the subject is often relatively easy to describe, putting images into words can be challenging. Below are general tips for finding useful images.

Search tips:

  • Look in specialized image databases first. These have more advance image searches than Google.
  • Look in journal indexes for illustrated articles. Many articles in periodicals have great illustrations.
  • Search for illustrated books in our library online catalog.


Actress Jane Fonda  (June 18, 1983), AP Images

If at first you don't succeed, try again:                                                                      

  • Are there other terms that describe your subject?
  • Are there more concrete symbols that represent abstract concepts (e.g. ""heart" or "kiss" instead of "love")?
  • If you aren't turning up many results, try more general terms.

If you are still having problems, ask a librarian for help!                                              


Evaluate images for

1 Good Work Sister: America's Women Have Met The Test, ca. 1941-1945. Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. Domestic Operations Branch. Bureau of Special Services, National Archives at College Park.

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers.


Does the image achieve a specific purpose?


What is the impact of the visual message?

Women are achieving more equality in the workforce during WWII and being encouraged to help the effort.

What strategies have been used to influence interpretation?

The man and woman side by side; the man's encouraging demeanor; the genderlessness of their clothing.

Are there visual signs, symbols, and conventions to convey meaning?

The V for victory in the background. The "Rosie the Riveter" head scarf. Lunch pail and thermos indicating factory/machine/physical labor work.

Is the image accurate and reliable?

Yes. Many women worked in factories during the war and did the jobs of men who were soldiers. They worked alongside other men.


What are some aesthetic and design characteristics of images (e.g., use of color, composition, line, shape, contrast, repetition, style)?

Red white and blue are prominent to suggest patriotism. The POV is slightly from below which may suggest "looking up" to the job the women do.

What are the technical characteristics of images (e.g., resolution, size, clarity, file format)?

400 x 610 pixels.
Medium resolution.
No pixilation or blur.

How is the quality of the image, based on indicators such as color accuracy, resolution, manipulation levels, and comparison to other reproductions?

Compared to other reproductions, the color is accurate. It has not been cropped. When looking at the lightest and darkest shades, the levels seem correct.


What information accompanies images? Is it accurate, reliable, current, and complete?

After doing an online search for the poster, I confirmed that the information in the caption is accurate and complete. National Archives Record


Is the image source reliable and accurate based on evaluations of authority, and point of view or bias?

Yes, the information comes from the National Archives collection which is a reliable source with no bias.

Evaluate images for
Total Votes: 0