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Image resources

Liaison librarian

  • Jennifer [dot] Garland [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) 514-398-4785

  • McGill users only
  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library-use only
  • Catalogue record


NOT all images on the web are FREE! Read this important information on image copyright.

Top Online Resources

  • Art Museum Image Gallery (EBSCO)
    Art images and related multimedia from the collections of distinguished museums around the world (e.g. Louvre, Prado, Hermitage, British Museum, etc.); can be searched alone or in conjunction with other EBSCO journal indexes.
  • ARTstor
    This digital library features an easy-to-use interface enabling students, faculty, and instructors to select from a wealth of digital images. The charter collection includes over 300,000 representations of architecture, painting, sculpture,and photography from many major museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and George Eastman House, to name a few.
  • Bridgeman Art Library archive 
  • Getty Search Gateway
    The Getty has made available over 4,600 high-resolution images of the Museum’s collection free to use, modify, and publish for any purpose. These images are in the public domain.
  • Oxford Art Online
    The access point for Grove Art Online and other Oxford art reference resources. May limit to images only.
  • Réunion des musées nationaux
    A collection of images from the national and regional museums of France, including the Louvre, Orsay, Pompidou and the Picasso Museum.
  • Timeline of Art History, Metropolitan Museum of Art
    The Timeline of Art History is a chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of the history of art from around the world, as illustrated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection. Provides theme specific searches, as well as general browsing.


Additional Online Resources

  • American Memory at the Library of Congress
    Provides free and open access to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. Includes section of materials on architecture and landscape.
  • Artefacts Canada
    Containing millions of collection records and close to 450,000 images from hundreds of museums across the country.
  • ArtNet Gallery
    Based in Switzerland, this online art gallery displays the works of current artists. Space on the site is purchased by artists and their work then is displayed along with information on medium, dimensions, price, and the names of individual works. No search platform is provided, although the collection is fairly small and, therefore, easy to browse by artwork type and artist name.
  • Art Images for College Teachers
    A non-profit project of the author Allan T. Kohl, art historian and visual resources curator. AICT is intended primarily to disseminate images of art and architectural works in the public domain on a free-access, free-use basis to all levels of the educational community, as well as to the public. Emphasis is on ancient, medieval, and Renaissance European art and architecture but also includes examples of post-Renaissance and "non-Western" works.
  • Art Resource
    The world’s largest photo archive of fine art, offers a range of material from prehistoric times to the present. Art Resource carries the works of almost every major museum in Europe, and functions as the official rights and permissions representative for many institutions in the United States and abroad. These are not free images, but watermarked thumbnails are available.
  • The Beazley Archive
    This database is the largest single collection of images (over 27,000)from Greek vases, and is excellently indexed, not only by painter, vase shape, location, etc. but by subject. A good place to find images from both classical myths and from everyday life, with full scholarly apparatus.
  • Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec
    Over 7000 photographs and illustrations of Quebec between 1870 —1907, drawn from 3 Quebec periodicals published at the time: L'Opinion publique, Le Monde illustré et L'Album universel.
  • Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art
    A reference database including information and profiles of more than 700 Canadian visual and media artists, graphic designers, and writers. Searchable by title of art work.
  • "Cybermuse" at the National Gallery of Canada
    Over 10,000 images of works of the Gallery's permanent collection, video and audio recordings of world renowned artists, showcases of special exhibits, and virtual tours. Browse the artist index or search the site by keyword, artist name, or title of artwork.
  • Index of Christian Art Database
    A database providing partial but growing access to bibliographic records in the Index of Christian Art, an active project which started in 1917 at Princeton University with the aim of producing a thematic/iconographic index of art objects from the Early Christian and Medieval periods.
  • Society of Architectural Historians: Image Exchange
    A world survey set of digital images, based on an overlap among the illustration sets in some commonly used architecture textbooks. Includes a collection of Ancient through Medieval works and early non-Europe and Renaissance through Modern works.
  • Web Gallery of Art
    "The Web Gallery of Art is a virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture of the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods (1100-1800), currently containing over 12,400 reproductions".
  • WorldImages
    "Provides access to the California State University IMAGE Project. It contains over 60,000 images, is global in coverage and includes all areas of visual imagery. WorldImages is accessible anywhere and its images may be freely used for non-profit educational purposes."

Print Resources

  • Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters
    A list of painters of Attic black-figure vases, arranged chronologically and by group, with the works signed by or attributed to them as understood by Beazley in 1956. With simple indexes by museum, iconography, publication.
  • Barockthemen
    Lists works of art depicting specific themes popular during the 17th and 18th centuries. Entries include very brief descriptions, citations to bibliographical references about the works, and sources of illustrations. Volume one covers religious subjects, volume two profane subjects.
    N6410 P53 1956 (Ref) v. 1-2
  • The Black Artist in America: An Index to Reproductions
    Indexes reproductions of fine art, prints, drawings, collages, assemblages, and other media from black artists. The index also includes biographical information on the artist and reproductions of their portraits. Includes those born and those who made their home in America, from the Colonial period to the present. Also included in the text are lists of books, journal articles, bibliographies, doctoral dissertation, audiovisual materials and exhibition catalogues which pertain to Black art and artists as well as a subject index.
  • Illustration Index
    Index to illustrations including: furniture; wildlife; art works, and; individual personalities. Each illustration is treated separately allowing for more thorough subject coverage.
  • Index to Art Reproductions in Books
    A finding aid for the location of reproductions in some excellent art books published during the 1950s to the 1970s.
  • Index of Early Chinese Painters and Painting: Tang, Sung, and Yüan
    Indexes the paintings of the Tang, Sung, and Yüan periods in English transliteration and Chinese language publications. Information on present ownership, reproduction sources, artist information, and painting type, date and assessment are presented, as is a bibliography.
  • Index to Reproductions of American Paintings
    Lists the work of artists occurring in 520 books and in more than 300 catalogues. The paintings are entered under name, title, and occasionally subject. Locations of pictures in permanent collections have also been provided whenever this information was available.
  • Index to Reproductions of European Paintings
    A guide to pictures by European artists that are reproduced in 328 books. The paintings are entered under name, distinctive title, and occasionally subject. Whenever permanent locations could be determined, this information has been included.
  • An Index to Reproductions of Paintings by Twentieth-Century Chinese Artists
    First published in 1984, this index of Chinese paintings includes entries for approximately 3,500 traditional-style artists along with lists of their works, reproduced in some 264 monographs, books, journals, and catalogs published from the 1920s to the 1980s.
  • Index to Two Dimensional Artworks
    Indexes 35,000 reproductions of two dimensional art in all media, including etchings, tapestries and drawings. Volume 1 is an artist index. Volume 2 is a title subject index.
  • Marburger Index
    A microfiche catalogue of fine art and architecture in Germany from the Bildarchiv Foto Marburg. Photographs of works of art in German institutions. German and foreign art. Photographs from 1850 to the present. Also includes some works from primitive art onward found in German institutions. Use this source in conjunction with ICONCLASS, an iconographic classification system.
  • Mythological and Classical World Art Index
    Includes index of figures and artists as well as a bibliography and an institutional directory.
  • Sculpture Index
    A guide to pictures of sculpture from about 950 selected publications that may be found in public, college, and special libraries. Vol. 1 - Sculpture of Europe and the Contemporary Middle East, and Vol. 2 - Sculpture of Americas, Orient, Africa, Pacific Area, and Classical World. Also provides an extensive list of sculptors, locations of sculptured works, and titles of works by sculptor.
  • The World's Master Paintings
    The history of painting in the western tradition is compiled in this two volume work. Volume 1 is an index to painters. Volume 2 is an index to institutions/collections and titles.
  • World Painting Index
    Provides the user with a tool for locating reproductions of paintings in books and catalogs published between 1940 up to early 1975. Comes with supplements, the first supplement covering 1973 -1980, the second covering 1980 - 1989.

Identification of Images

  • Graphics Atlas
    Learn about the distinguishing characteristics of different printing processes, from woodblock to mezzo-tint and from photogravure to ink jet. These pages contain step by step instructions on how to identify the print process used.


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