Guide to high-quality image databases and resources. Interdisciplinary image content, search strategies, evaluating images, & image citation guide.
Image Search Tips & Strategies
Searching for images can be trickier than searching for text. Try different keywords and databases, and read on for more tips:
Choosing an image database
Do you need clip art? An art print? This guide has a range of resources. Read the database descriptions to help you choose.
Try searching more than one database.
Move beyond Google Images.
Effectively using an image database
Familiarize yourself with the contents and features of the database you have chosen. Every database is structured differently, with different image content, different descriptive data, and different search functionality.
Every database is different. Familiarize yourself with the contents and features of the database you have chosen.
Use the "About" or "Help" pages. This information can save you time and effort when you begin your search.
Start small. Try using just 1 or 2 keywords to start your search. Search results too large? Add additional keywords. Too small? You may need to try other databases.
What do you know about an image? Location? People? Title? Subject? Keywords from any of these categories could help.
Are there other ways the image might be described? You may have more success searching on place names, time periods, artist names, publishers, or dates.
Foreign languages. If image titles may be in a language other than English, experiment with different possible translations.
Artist names and place names often have more than one accepted spelling or format. If you do not find the results you expect with one spelling, try another.