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Finding medical images, videos, and 3D content

Liaison librarian

  • Genevieve [dot] Gore [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) 514-398-3472
  • McGill users only
  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library-use only
  • Catalogue record

Searching the Library Catalogue for materials with medical images

Medical (MeSH) Subject Headings

You can perform and advanced search in the catalogue using the "Keyword in Subject" "Atlases" combined with a keyword or subject search to find books with medical illustrations in the Library Catalogue.


Images, videos, and 3D models in subscription-based resources

  • Anatomy.TV
    • 3D, rotatable, interactive anatomy
    • Also includes common pathologies and radiological content
  • ClinicalKey
    • Perform a search and use the Videos/Images/Procedures Consult filters on the left
  • Gideon: Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Network
    • A program for diagnosis and reference in the field of tropical and infectious diseases, epidemiology, microbiology and antimicrobial chemotherapy, which includes images.
  • McGraw-Hill Medical Sites: Use Advanced Search on AccessEmergency Medicine, AccessMedicine, AccessPediatrics, and AccessSurgery: Select Images or Multimedia tab and resources you would like to search
  • UpToDate
    • Perform a search and use the Graphics filter on the left to display algorithms, diagnostic images, figures, forms, movies, pictures, tables, waveforms

Searching for images within journal articles or book chapters

  • Journals@Ovid
    • Allows users to search the contents of the records and full text of all indexed publications. This includes searching the descriptive text for images, tables, and figures. To search for these, select "caption text" from the Search Fields option. Alternatively, the user can use the abbreviated command .ct. after the search term, e.g., uninjured brain.ct.
  • ScienceDirect
    • Collection of 2,500 journals and over 11,000 books which allows for image searching across all content.

We also suggest the following resources


  • Google Advanced Image Search
    • Includes images from all over the web in different formats (.jpg, .gif, .png) that has been published in the life sciences.
    • Select applicable "usage rights" to find images that you can use or share
  • HEAL (Health Education Assets Library)
    • "Includes multimedia resources currently located on the HEAL server and across many remote servers."
    • Funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Library of Medicine.
    • Indexed using MeSH terms.
    • Includes a peer reviewed collection
  • HealthLibrary.ca
    • A national medical digital repository developed for medical teaching and learning in Canada.
    • Includes approximately 10,000 multimedia learning objects including static images, interactive electronic transparencies (“builds”), animations and audio and video material, as well as clinical images.
    • All collections can be searched, although the site is no longer active.
  • National Cancer Institute Visuals Online
    • "Contains images from the collections of the Office of Communications, National Cancer Institute. Contents include general biomedical and science-related images, cancer-specific scientific and patient care-related images"
    • Collection can be browsed or searched.
  • TRIP Database - Medical Images
    • When searching TRIP Database: Turning Research into Practice, a subset of the results are collected under the heading "Images."
    • Only allows for searching, not browsing.
  • Wellcome Images
    • A source of images on the history of medicine, modern biomedical science and clinical medicine.
    • Over 160 000 historical and contemporary images.
    • Can be searched or browsed.


  • DermAtlas
    • Hosted by Johns Hopkins University.
    • More than 9200 dermatological photographs and histological slides.
    • "The purpose of this WWW site is to enable health care professionals, parents, and patients to access high quality dermatology images for teaching purposes."
    • Images are linked to references in PubMed.
    • Editorial Board. Accredited by HONCode
  • DermIS
    • A cooperation between the Dept. of Clinical Social Medicine (Univ. of Heidelberg) and the Dept. of Dermatology (Univ. of Erlangen).
    • Includes two image databases: DOIA (Dermatology Online Atlas) and PeDOIA.
  • Global Skin Atlas
    • "[J]oint effort of Doctors in various countries to cover the spectrum of skin disease in all skin colours and races. The images may be freely used for self education and for teaching purposes (...)"

Infectious Diseases

  • The Big Picture Book of Viruses
    • From Tulane University.
    • A directory of images available elswhere on the internet. No search engine available.
    Images gathered from "well-known" sources
  • CDC Public Health Image Database
    • Sponsored by the National Center for Health Marketing, the National Center for Infectious Diseases, and the Information Resources Management Office.
    • Includes photographs, illustrations, and multimedia files.
    • Indexed using MeSH terms.
    Created by a Working Group at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


  • Whole Brain Atlas
    • Authored by Keith A. Johnson, MD and J. Alex Becker, MD from Harvard Medical School.
    • "The Atlas is intended as an introduction to basic neuroanatomy, with emphasis on the pathoanatomy of several leading central nervous system diseases."


  • Atlas of Ophthalmology
    • Endorsed by the International Council of Ophthalmology.
    • Approximately 300 images 'showing and describing the various stages of the clinical picture as it is seen in photographs and by ancillary tests.
  • National Eye Institute
    • Collection of photographs, illustrations, and animations available.
    • Collection can be browsed or searched.


Public Health


  • Pediatric Surgery Image Bank
    • From the Brown Medical School Pediatric Surgery website.
    • "More than 150 clinical, intraoperative and radiologic images related to pediatric surgery."
  • Radiographic Anatomy of the Skeleton
    • From the University of Washington. Authored by Michael L. Richardson, M.D.
    • Users can browse different parts of the body.

Databases and websites

Please note that unless stated otherwise, digital images are protected by copyright, even when there is no copyright symbol displayed. Images do not need to be registered by the creator to be protected by copyright. Unless the creator of the images states expressly that the images may be used freely, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder. For all images where permission for use is granted, or where the image is in the public domain, it is good practice to cite the source.

See also the Osler Library's list of Image Collections for historical images in the Life Sciences.


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