Art + Design

Image Databases

Art in the Christian Tradition - "The visual images in the ACT database represent the continuum of the practice of Christianity from the 1st century A.D. to the present."

ArtStor  - A large repository of images.  For a guides to using ArtStor, go to See also the instructions and training videos below. [Note that ArtStor is moving to the JSTOR platform as of August 2024. You can go there now via this link:]

Important links during the transition and beyond:

Welcome to JSTOR from Artstor
Introduction to JSTOR workspac
Searching for and saving images
Images on JSTOR training

ArtStor public images - No login required

Canadian Online Art Book Project (Art Canada Institute) - "Founded in 2013, the Canadian Online Art Book Project is a growing digital library of books–all original works commissioned by the Art Canada Institute–by the country’s leading art experts on artists who have made a critical contribution to the evolution of the nation’s art history. Each year the ACI releases six new titles in this program."

Cities and Buildings Database - "A collection of digitized images of buildings and cities drawn from across time and throughout the world."

Creative Commons image search - More than 300 million images available under Creative Commons licenses.

Google Cultural Institute - Growing collection of high resolution images from the world's art galleries.

JSTOR - Do a search on an art-related topic, then click on “Images in JSTOR” at the top of the result list. TWU login required.

Life Photo Archive - Archive from Life Magazine.

Metropolitan Museum of Art - A large part of their digital image collection is now open access. Includes 200,000 public domain artworks in the collection that the Museum has digitally cataloged. 

New York Public Library Digital Collections - Public domain images in high resolution that are free to use as you see fit.

Unsplash - Free high resolution photos to use as you wish.

VADS Online Resource for the Visual Arts - "VADS (the Visual Arts Data Service) has ... a considerable portfolio of visual art collections comprising over 140,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in learning, teaching and research in the UK. VADS is a service of the Centre for Digital Scholarship in the Library & Student Services department of the University for the Creative Arts."

Watercolour World - Large British digital collection of pre-1900 watercolours

Web Gallery of Art - "A virtual museum and searchable database of Western (European) fine arts of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, and Impressionism periods (1000-1900), currently containing over 39.300 reproductions. Artist biographies, commentaries, guided tours, period music, catalogue, free postcard and mobile services are provided."

Wikimedia Commons - Good source for images with few limitations on copyright.

Yale Digital Commons - Images from Yale University ("art, natural history, books, and maps, as well as photos, audio, and video").

Yale University Art Gallery - The Yale University Art Gallery collects, preserves, studies, and presents art in all media, from all regions of the globe and across time.

ArtStor Tutorial

How to access ArtStor

Do your keyword search in Library OneSearch on the Library Homepage. On the search results page, click on the link Arstor on the right hand side under the Expand Your Search section. It will automatically search your keyword in Arstor. 

This short video shows you the different ways you can use ArtStor. 


ArtStor is a complex database.  The following half hour tutorial will explain how to set up your personal account and use the database effectively:

See also ArtStor's student guide at

Images and Copyright

The use of images can be a challenge when it comes to copyright restrictions.  See this guide's page on copyright, or go to and find the section on "Copyright" (left column).

CC Search is an excellent resource to search for images that have a Creative Commons license allowing various types of use.