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Research Guides

Images: Image Citation

Guide to high-quality image databases and resources. Interdisciplinary image content, search strategies, evaluating images, & image citation guide.

Citing Images

If you use an image you did not create, you must provide a citation. 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

Image Citation Examples by Style

Following are several examples of image citations formatted according to MLA, APA, and Chicago styles. For more in-depth examples, check out the resources at Colgate Visual Resources Library

MLA 8th edition Style (examples from The Owl at Purdue)

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

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

APA 2009 Style (examples from University of Maryland University College)

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

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:

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

Image from an online database:

Currier & Ives. "Gray Eagle." Lithograph. ca. 1866. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, (accessed September 25, 2010).

Image from a website:

Wilma, David. "El Centro de la Raza, Beacon Hill, Seattle." Photograph. 2001., (accessed September 25, 2010).


[In the footnotes, remove the period after image title, and do not capitalize the image type. 

EX: Eugene Hoshiko, "China Rain," photograph, 1999, AP ImagesID99062401980.]

Citation Guides