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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.