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Images: Citation & Copyright

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Citing Images

Images must be cited like all other resources. If you use an image you did not create, you must provide a citation. Images should be cited in all cases, even if the image is very small, or in the public domain. The citation should be accessible in the context of the image's use (within a Powerpoint presentation, on a web page, in a paper, etc.).

Image citations should include the following information at a minimum:

  • Title
  • Creator name
  • Repository information (museum, library, or other owning institution)
  • Image source (database, website, book, postcard, vendor, etc.)
  • Date accessed

It is also useful to include date, culture, and rights information, if known.

Citations can be formatted according to the citation style you are using.

Image Citation Examples by Style

Following are several examples of image citations formatted according to MLA, APA, and Chicago styles.

MLA 2009 Style (examples from The Owl at Purdue)

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Museo National del Prado. Web. 22 May 2006.

Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine. 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Artchive. Web. 22 May 2006.

APA 2009 Style (examples from University of Maryland)

Image with a title from a library database:
Rousseau, H. (1896). The ship in the storm [Painting]. Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris. Retrieved from Oxford Art Online database.

Image with a title from a web site:
Rousseau, H. (1896). The ship in the storm [Painting]. Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris. Retrieved from http://www.uwm.edu/~wash/rousseau.jpg.

Image with a title scanned from a book:
Rousseau, H. (1896). The ship in the storm [Painting]. Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris. Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris. By Claire Fresches et al. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art. 232.

Image without a title from a library database:
Muybridge, E. [Photograph of a horse running]. (1887). National Gallery, London. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

Image without a title from a printed source:
Muybridge, E. [Photograph of a horse running]. (1887). National Gallery, London. River of shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the technological wild West. By Rebecca Solnit. New York, NY: Viking. 52.

Note: If an image does not have a title, create a brief title and place it in [].

Chicago Style

Image from a library subscription database:

Bib: Hoshiko, Eugene. "China Rain." Photograph. 1999. AP Images, ID99062401980.

Notes: Eugene Hoshiko, "China Rain," photograph, 1999, AP Images, ID99062401980.

Image from an online database:

Bib: Currier & Ives. "Gray Eagle." Lithograph. ca. 1866. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2006676682/ (accessed September 25, 2010).

Notes: Currier & Ives, "Gray Eagle," lithograph, ca. 1866, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2006676682/ (accessed September 25, 2010).

Image from a website:

Bib: Wilma, David. "El Centro de la Raza, Beacon Hill, Seattle." Photograph. 2001. HistoryLink.org, http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=9186 (accessed September 25, 2010).

Notes: David Wilma, "El Centro de la Raza, Beacon Hill, Seattle," photograph, 2001, HistoryLink.org, http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=9186 (accessed September 25, 2010).

Copyright

Digital images are an electronic resource that need to be used responsibly. Most databases and web sites provide information about how their images can be used. It is important to read this information carefully, and comply with all usage guidelines.  Usage guidelines can vary considerably, so be alert to differences and details.

The UW Libraries outlines some general do's and don'ts for electronic resources. Please see Responsible Use of Electronic Resources.

The UW Copyright Connection provides information about many aspects of copyright, including Compilations, Music and Images and Images of Art and People.

Appropriate Use of UW Resources is published by UW Information Technology and provides additional copyright information and guidelines for using electronic resources.