ONLINE IMAGE COLLECTIONS
A guide to sources of images online, from clip art to digitized museum collections. Do you have a favorite image resource not listed below? Send suggestions to Daniel Payne.
- Licensed OCAD Image Databases
- Fine Art & Design Collections
- Canadian Art & Design
- International and Specialized Collections
- Photography Collections
- Architectural Image Collections
- Furniture, Decorative Arts & Interior Design
- Advertising & Graphic Design Collections
Licensed OCAD Image Databases
Off-Campus Access : log in with OCADU username/password
Alexander Street Press Theatre in Video
Contains more than 250 plays and more than 100 video documentaries available online in streaming video. Includes interviews with directors, designers, writers, and actors that span a wide range of periods and nationalities. Specially developed controlled vocabularies, used with multiple and combinable search fields, enable users to browse by genre, artist, time period, place, and other fields.
Art Museum Image Gallery
130,000 images from BCE through to the present of art/design works from all time periods.
Associated Press (AP) Multimedia Archive
One million digital images, audio clips, graphic images, news stories from 1826 to the present.
Includes auction records, biographies, low res. images, and bibliographies for over 120,000 artists.
Corbis has discontinued support for educational image collection; the database is no longer available
National Film Board of Canada
Watch hundreds of films online. Documentaries, animations and alternative dramas on the web, on your personalized home page, or on your iPhone.
Use your OCAD U network login and password to access 60,000+ images of art, design, and architecture across all styles and periods; selected by faculty and librarians at OCAD U.
Oxford Art Online (formerly Grove Dictionary of Art)
Offers links to gallery, museum and other institutional websites containing online images. Almost 50,000 image link are offered. Note this is not an image database, but a directory of site offering images.
Fine Art Collections
Art Images for College Teaching (AICT)
Mostly sculpture and architecture, from ancient to baroque, including pre-Columbian Meso-America and North American First Nations.
Offers videos, interviews, background information on artists and the art world. Hosted by the Indianapolis Museum of Art and includes material from the Museum of Modern Art and the PBS series “Art:21.”
Covers painting, sculpture, photography, video and digital art, architecture, and decorative arts. Search or browse for images by Movement, Medium or Subject.
CGFA: Virtual Art Museum
Search for images or browse by artist's name or by nationality and time frame.
History of Visual Communication
Offers a theme-based approach to the history of visual communication using examples from pre-history to the present age. Anonymously posted, but an excellent creative source for inspiration.
Insecula: L'encyclopedie des arts et de l'architecture
Use search box to view works by artists or architects. Results list describe work and note museum/park/site where work is located. Note: Some text is in French only.
Mark Harden's Artchive
An excellent collection of art images from all eras.
Offers thematically-based images that explore "contemporary representations and self-representations of women — how they are figured, fashioned, turned into portraits." Based on a collaborative exhibition held at Bryn Mawr College, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Rosenbach Museum & Library.
Web Gallery of Art
Virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture of the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods (1100 to 1850), currently containing over 14,500 reproductions.
Canadian Art & Design
Archives of Ontario
Select "Online Exhibits" to view images related to Ontario's history.
Centre of Contemporary Canadian Art's Internet Archive of Professional Artists
Over 18,000 images of work by comtemporary Canadian artists, including many OCAD faculty.
National Gallery of Canada : Over 9,000 images of artworks by Canadian artists, as well as video and audio recordings. Search by keyword, title, artist, nationality, or medium. Note: not all images indexed are available.
Gateway to Aboriginal Heritage
Candian Museum of Civilization: A database of images of First Nations cultural artifacts is provided, browseable by the geographic region and language group.
Government of Canada : Over 65,000 photographic images, lithographs and reproductions of Canadian subjects.
National Archives of Canada
Some digitized collections arranged by subject. Click "ArchivaNet" to search historic Canadian photograph collection.
Virtual Museum of Canada
Search "Image Gallery" to find thousands of works by major Canadian artists.
Vancouver Art in the Sixties (Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery, UBC)
Browse by format or keyword search for images and background information on selected artists from the Vancouver area.
International & Specialized Collections
American Institute of Indian Studies
Part of the Digital South Asia Library project, this database is organized into four separate collections, architecture, sculpture, paintings and numismatics. The web version of the AIIS photograph archive has combined these four collections into one for ease of searching and display. There is an option to limit a search to one or more of these original designations.
Library of Congress: American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity.
British Library: Online Gallery
"This website showcases thousands of items from the British Library." Includes over 90 000 images and sounds as well as maps; historical and contemporary, exhibitions and collections.
Medieval Mauscripts Collection (Leeds University)
Search through fifty bound volumes of manuscripts created between the 12th and 15th centuries. View high resolution images, but downloading requires purchase.
Otis Collections Online: Artists' Books
Otis College of Art : Offers access to faculty and student works, public engagement projects and images of covers and contents of selected artists books. Artists' books are searchable by artists, theorists, groups, movements or institutions.
Walters Art Museum: Works of Art
Access almost 10,000 creative commons licensed images of works of art and design from all time periods and cultures. Browse by category, medium, places, or use the toggle bar timeline feature to browse by chronological period. Most images are in "medium" resolution.
White House Art
White House Historical Association Search or browse over two hundred portraits, landscapes, historical scenes, sculpture, and other works of art from the White House Collection. Includes portraits of all presidents and first ladies. Users must register to download images.
World Art Treasures
Berger Foundation : Contains more than 100,000 images of Western European, Chinese, Japanese and Indian painting, sculpture, and architecture.
American Memory:Photos, Prints and Drawings
Library of Congress : More than 7 million images from US historical collections.
Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection
View over 14,500 Kodachrome color slide taken by amateur photographer Charles Cushman between 1938 to 1969. Hosted by Indiana University's Digital Library Program.
City of Toronto Archives: Image Search
Access hundreds of photographs from Toronto's history. Select advanced or simple search and use keywords or browse by date.
Corbis: Stock Photography and Pictures (Rights managed, royalty-free images)
Features an excellent subject search. Images can be enlarged, but have an embedded watermark.
Glenbow Museum (Calgary): Archival Photographs
Catalogue containing 86,000 historical photographs, illustrations, cartoons and posters documenting the people, landscape and development of the Canadian West from the 1870s to the 1980s.
LIFE Photo Archive hosted by Google
Access "millions" of historic photographs from Life Magazine spanning from the 1860s to 1970s. Most were "never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google." Search by keyword, or browse by decade or subject (featured people, places, events, sports, and culture).
NASA Image Exchange
A web-based search engine for searching one or more of NASA's online multimedia collections. Searching is performed using keywords.
New York Public Library Digital Image Collections
A gateway to The New York Public Library’s rare and unique international holdings in digitized form, including: historic maps, rare prints and photos, illuminated manuscripts, etc.
Photography Collection: Western History
A selection of historic photographs from the collections of the Denver Public Library Western History/Genealogy Department and the Colorado Historical Society. These collections contain more than one million items and document the history of Colorado and the American West.
Historic and art photography database hosted by George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film and the International Center of Photography (ICP). Includes artists such as Wegman, Atget, Bellocq, Moholy-Nagy and more.
Pride and Dignity
Library and Archives Canada: Over 60 photographic portraits are available from various First Nations groups taken between 1846 and 1960.
Collection of American photo-journalism, limited search features.
Alsop, William. Alsop Architects
A noteworthy site displaying Alsop's work by thematic concepts.
Architecture and Interior Design for 20th Century America
Library of Congress : 29,000 images of interiors and exteriors of homes and industrial, retail and historic buildings.
Canadian Architecture Collection
McGill University : Access to numerous image archives, including the Moshe Safdie Hypermedia Archive and the Erickson Archive.
Images of buildings and some architectural drawings. Search by era, architect, designer or keyword.
Emporis: Database on skyscrapers and tall structures
Search by city for images of structures, including ones that have been proposed, demolished or were "never built."
Search by architect, place, or bulding name.
Note: Not all buildings have accompanying images.
Architecture slide library, Berkley University : Very small images with brief information on building.
40 Centuries of international architecture. Browse by location, subject or period.
World's Fair Ephemeral and Graphic Materials Collection
A digital image collection of the history of World's Fairs (1851-1970) from the Architecture Library at the University of Maryland. This site also offers essays on the material culture of the World's Fairs and offers a keyword search function.
1939 World's Fair Photo Collection
Images depicting the art and architecture exhibited at the event. Click "What We Have" for other image collections.
Furniture, Decorative Arts & Interior Design
History of Canadian Furniture (1945 - 1985)
Slide show of major Canadian furniture designers; low resolution images, but useful for referencing names.
Maynard Parker Modern Photography: Negatives, Photographs and Other Material
Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens : Maynard L. Parker (1901-1976) was a Los Angeles-based architectural and garden photographer who contributed images to many of the nation’s premiere home design publications from the 1930s - 1970s. The archive consists of approximately 56,000 negatives, transparencies, and photographs.
Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) Image Search:
Farnham Campus of The University College for the Creative Arts, UK: Includes over 100,000 images "free for use in education." Includes painting, sculpture, furniture design, graphic design, illustration, book design. Includes images from the Parker Knoll chair collection.
Advertising & Graphic Design Collections
Images of print ads from 1940 to 2001 in a number of categories. Browse or search.
AdViews: A Digital Archive of Vintage Television Commercials
Duke University Browse thousands of vintage television commercials dating from the 1950s to the 1980s created or collected by the ad agency Benton & Bowles or its successor, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B). Major clients included are Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Schick, Vicks, and Post, among others.
Book Cover Archive
Over 1,000 images of book covers from 20th century. Search or browse by title, author, publisher, illustrator, photographer, or typeface.
Emergence of Advertising in America:1850-1920
Duke University : Over 9,000 images available by browsing a chronological timeline, or searching by "Famous People," Product, or Company.
Howard Besser's T-shirt Database
Berkley University : Images of 533 t-shirts from the 1960s through to the present.
International Poster Collection
Colorado State University : Images from the Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition,
1991 to the present.
Posteritati: Movie poster Online Gallery
Images can be searched by film title, genre or nationality, film star or director, or by date.
Last Modified:9/24/2013 4:43:19 PM
- Art+Feminsim Wikipedia Edit-a-thon @ OCAD U Library: 22 March 2014
- BOOK DISPLAY: Make every day Earth Day: check out our sustainable design books!
- NEW DATABASE: Films on Demand is a streaming video service which provides access to more than 15,000 educational videos in dozens of subject areas. It includes content from Films for the Humanities & Sciences, BBC, PBS, Nova and numerous other educational film producers.
- NEW DATABASE: AdForum is a comprehensive collection of over 150,000 award-winning advertisements sourced from 50 leading international award shows and over 20,000 agencies.
- NEW IN PRINT: new BOOKS or JOURNALS
- View 2014 Melva J. Dwyer Award nominations
- NEW RESOURCE: Artists as Writers index
- FOOD 4 FINES: stay tuned on Twitter or Facebook