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A&Ae: Art & Architecture ePortal

E-book resource featuring scholarship in the history of art, architecture, decorative arts, photography, and design. A&Ae features many out-of-print titles, key backlist, and recent releases, as well as born-digital content. Publishing partners include Yale University Press, Bard Graduate Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, Harvard University Press, MIT Press, Princeton University Press, Yale University Art Gallery, Dallas Museum of Art, Paul Mellon Centre and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and more.

AATA Online (Abstracts of International Conservation Literature)

A service of the Getty Conservation Institute that provides more than 119,000 abstracts of literature related to the preservation and conservation of material cultural heritage.

Academic Search Premier

Provides full text for more than 3,460 scholarly publications covering academic areas of study including social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, language and linguistics, arts and literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies. This Ebsco database is updated on a daily basis.

Accessible Archives

Diverse primary source materials reflecting broad views across American history and culture have been assembled into comprehensive databases. These collections are encyclopedic in scope and allow full Boolean, string and truncated searches. Developed by dedicated instructors and students of Americana, these databases allow access to the rich store of materials from leading books and periodicals of the time.


The Ad*Access Project, funded by the Duke Endowment "Library 2000" Fund, presents images and information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955.

AHRnet Biographical Dictionary of British and Irish Architects 1800-1950

The AHRnet Biographical Dictionary of British and Irish Architects 1800-1950 includes approximately 3,000 entries extracted from the Art History Research net database Arts+Architecture ProFiles (A+AP).

America: History and Life

Indexes more than 2,000 journals published worldwide on the history of the United States and Canada from pre-history to the present.

American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection

EBSCO partners with American Antiquarian Society (AAS), the premier library documenting the life of America's people from the Colonial Era through the Civil War and Reconstruction, to provide digital access to the most comprehensive collection of American periodicals published between 1684 and 1912.

American Periodicals Series (APS)

A full-text resource managed by ProQuest. Includes hundreds of early American magazines, newspapers, and popular and professional journals published from 1740 to 1940.

Access over 2 billion international records on Search records from census and voter lists, birth, marriage and death records, as well as immigration, travel and military records.  A user name and password are required for access. Contact the library staff for the log-in information.

Anthropology Plus

One resource that combines two important anthropology indexes—the highly respected Anthropological Literature from Harvard University in the U.S., and the Anthropological Index from the Royal Anthropological Institute in the U.K.


A website and search interface produced by the American Anthropological Association (AAA) that includes the full text of current and legacy content from journals published by the AAA.


A union catalog of three major art libraries in New York City: the Frick Art Reference Library, the Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives, and the MoMA Library.


A web archiving service for collecting and accessing cultural heritage on the web. Includes many museums, universities and libraries from over 400 partner organizations in 48 U.S. states and 16 countries worldwide.


An international website that gathers and presents information on archival collections. Over 2,500 libraries, museums, and archives worldwide contribute descriptions of their collections to the project.

Archives of American Art

Digital Collections of archival material relating to American Artists, designers and dealers. Includes archives of ACA Galleries, Florence Knoll Bassett, George Grey Barnard, Jacques Seligmann & Co and many more.

Archives Portal Europe

Search over 250 million archival descriptions from almost 7000 institutions. Provides access to information on archival material and institutions throughout Europe.


Archnet is an open access  resource focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, conservation issues, visual and material cultures, and other topics related to the built environment, with a focus on societies in which Muslims are or have been a significant cultural presence.

Art and Architecture Archive

A full-text archive of magazines in the fields of art and architecture dating from the late-19th century to the 21st, including Apollo, American Craft and Craft Horizons. By ProQuest.

Art and Architecture Source

Developed from a merger of art databases from EBSCO Publishing and H.W. Wilson, including new unique sources, Art Source offers detailed indexing and abstracts for work on fine art, decorative art, commercial art, architecture, and architectural design.

Art Bibliographies Modern

Indexes articles published from 1974 to the present. ARTbibliographies Modern covers articles published on all aspects of modern and contemporary art (19th century to the present), as well as photography (1839 to the present).

Art Discovery Group Catalogue

Researchers may search within this specialized subset of Worldcat data to hone in on a vast trove of art-historical literature held in an ever-increasing number of the world’s finest art libraries.

Art History Research net

Art History Research net (AHR net), formerly Arts:Search, consists of three related and linked databases. ReVIEW provides full text of important decorative and fine arts journals published in Europe and the USA during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Arts + Architecture Profiles includes biographical data on over 30,000 artists, architects and designers. Lastly, Design Abstracts Retrospective (DAR) contains abstracts of decorative, applied arts and design journals published between 1900-1986. This database includes over 60,000 entries, and complements the Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI), whose coverage begins in 1973.

Art Index Retrospective

The H. W. Wilson Company's index to articles published between 1929 and 1984 on advertising art, antiques, archaeology, architecture and architectural history, art history, computers in art, crafts, decorative arts, fashion design, folk art, graphic

Art World in Britain, 1660-1735

This database contains key primary sources for the study of the visual arts in late Stuart and early Hanoverian Britain. Included are indexes and reference materials, such a biographical dictionary, over 17,000 newspaper advertisements, a checklist of paintings during this period and auction catalogues.

ARTFL Project

Consists of nearly 2,000 texts in French, ranging from classical works of French literature to various kinds of nonfiction prose and technical writing. Genres include novels, verse, theater, journalism, essays, correspondence, and treatises.


Artnet's Decorative Art Database contains auction records of over 3 million decorative art objects from ancient antiquities to contemporary decorative arts. Results includes comprehensive descriptions, provenance information, bibliographies, images, and essays from the actual auction catalog as well as estimates and prices realized. Over 240 auction houses are represented and sales results go back to January 2000.

Arts + Architecture ProFILES (AAP)

A biographical dictionary of modern designers, craftspeople, artists, and architects. Part of the Arts:Search (formerly designinform) package.

Avery Index

Indexes more than 2,000 periodicals published worldwide on architecture, as well as on archaeology, city planning, interior design, and historic preservation. Selective coverage dates back to articles published in the 1860s; full coverage includes w

Bard College Library Databases

BGC users also have access to databases provided by Stevenson Library at Bard College.

BAS (Bibliography of Asian Studies)

Contains more than 800,000 records on all subjects (especially humanities and social sciences) pertaining to East, Southeast, and South Asia published worldwide from 1971 to the present, referencing principally Western-language articles and book chap

Beazley Archive

Classical Art Research Centre's antiquities database allows you to search art, pottery, gems, sculpture and architectural terracottas. It also has over 10,000 images of Greek/Roman sculpture and 200,000 images of Greek pottery.

Berg Fashion Library

This database offers fully cross-searchable access to an expanding range of Berg content collections including the Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress online, e-books, reference works, images, and much more.

BHA (Bibliography of the History of Art)

Indexes and abstracts books, articles, dissertations, conference proceedings, and catalogs published on American and European art of all eras. The Getty provides access to BHA and to the Répertoire international de la littérature de l'art (RILA).

BHI (British Humanities Index)

Indexes more than 400 internationally respected humanities journals and weekly magazines published in the U.K. and other English-speaking countries from 1962 to the present, as well as high-quality newspapers published in the U.K.

Biodiversity Heritage Library

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons”.

Black Craftspeople Digital Archive

This project focuses on Black craftspeople in the eighteenth-century South Carolina Lowcountry and mid-nineteenth century Tennessee from 1619 and beyond. The database includes hundreds of records documenting the lives and experiences of Black craftspeople involved in 45 trades.

Black Music History Library

A collection of books, articles, documentaries, series, podcasts and more about the Black origins of traditional and popular music dating from the 18th century to present day. Resources are organized chronologically and by genre for ease of browsing.

Blue Mountain Project

This collection contains fully searchable issues of important periodicals of the European avant-garde.

Brill’s Medieval Reference Library

Includes Brill's Encyclopedia of Middle Ages, the Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles, Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage, and the Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle.

British Library

The British Library makes available 30,000 digital images representing key objects from its holdings. Users can search using keywords (unfortunately, there is no advanced search functionality) or browse online exhibition groups, such as “Victorian Popular Music” and “Philatelic Rarities.” Images are very good throughout, and many bound works, such as Handel’s Messiah, are viewable in the library’s “Turning the Pages” software (requires Microsoft’s SilverLight browser plugin) as browsable, page-flip-able virtual objects.

British Museum

Of the British Museum’s more than 7 million objects, 2 million have been catalogued, and of those nearly 500,000 objects have at least one digital image available online. The museum’s collection covers the history of human activity, with objects representing ancient Europe, ancient Greece and Rome, and virtually all non-Western cultures from their pre-history to present. The museum makes all of its digital images freely available for educational use, including limited-run academic publishing, and although the readily available digital images are quite good, it also has a registration-based system wherein users can request that ultra-high quality renditions be sent to them by e-mail.

C19: The 19th-Century Index

Provides access to more than 20 million bibliographic records for 19th-century source materials. The records are a collection of 12 different citation sources, including such indexes as Poole's and the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals.


Calisphere is an online image resource made available by the University of California system. It offers more than 200,000 digital representations of primary materials documenting the history of the state of California, from its origins through the 1970s. Materials are browsable by subject or by thematic collections and are searchable by keyword. Images are available in high-resolution zoomable form, but are only downloadable as average quality JPEGs.

Cambridge Collections Online

Offers cross-searchable online access to the Cambridge Companions in Literature and Classics and the Cambridge Companions in Philosophy, Religion, and Culture. Each collection is updated with new Companions upon publication.

Cambridge Histories Online

Allows full-text online access to the renowned texts of the Cambridge Histories reference series. Includes 250-plus volumes offering the most up to date and authoritative scholarly content on political, economic, and social history, and the philosophy and literature of selected countries and subjects.


Searchable encyclopedia containing chemical, physical, visual, and analytical information on historic and contemporary materials used in the conservation, preservation, and production of artistic, architectural, and archaeological materials. Includes images, including photos and drawings of materials' outward appearance, as well as analytical image records of microscopic and spectroscopic characteristics. Also contains links to commercial records, Material Safety Data Sheets, and to conservation organizations across the world.

Catena, The Digital Archive of Historic Gardens and Landscapes

Sponsored by the BGC with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Catena Digital Archive of Historic Gardens and Landscapes is an interactive image database focused on the history of gardens and landscapes from ancient Roman archaeological sites to 19th century Hudson Valley estates. Images are of good quality.

Chicago Manual of Style Online

Full-text online version of the printed style guide, plus the Chicago Citation Quick Guide and Chicago Style Q&A.

Chronicle of Higher Education

The nation’s largest newsroom dedicated to covering colleges and universities providing real-time news and deep insights on higher education.

Chronicling America

Digitized American historical newspapers from 1836-1922. Contains many smaller regional newspapers, with good images and advertising content.

Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art makes available more than 23,000 digital images representing objects from its collection. The museum’s holdings span the range of visual and material culture and include works from virtually all cultures and periods of human production. Images are searchable by keyword or using advanced parameters, and available images are of good quality. Requesting the rights to reproduce images is a fairly straightforward process, with an online form linked from each catalogue entry.

CoPA (Commercial Pattern Archive)

A collection of commercial pattern data, including images, from several large commercial pattern collections in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.: the database functions like a catalog of patterns and collections that researchers and designers can use to re-create or date clothing from 1868 to 2000.  A user name and password are required for access. Contact the library staff for the log-in information.

Country Life Archive

a full-text collection containing every page and issue of this historical British culture and lifestyle magazine from its first issue in 1897 (when it was known as Country Life Illustrated) to 2005. All pages are in full color, are reproduced in high-resolution and are fully searchable. By ProQuest.

Culinary Arts Collection

Includes major cooking and nutrition magazines, culinary journals and several Delmar Reference titles. Coverage includes thousands of searchable recipes, restaurant reviews, and industry information from 1980 to the present.

Cultural Magazines of Latin America

A digitized collection of cultural magazines from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru and Puerto Rico dating back to the period between 1880 and 1930.

DAAI (Design and Applied Arts Index)

Abstracts and indexes articles, news items, and reviews published in design and applied arts periodicals from 1973 on. Covers both new designers and the development of design and the applied arts since the mid-19th century, surveying disciplines including ceramics, glass, jewelry, wood, metalsmithing, graphic design, fashion and clothing, textiles, furniture, interior design, architecture, computer-aided design, web design, computer-generated graphics, animation, product design, industrial design, garden design, and landscape architecture.

Database Machine Drawings

Database Machine Drawings (DMD) was developed by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and makes available more than 1,600 high-quality digital images of Medieval and Renaissance (1235–1650) mechanical drawings. Users can make use of either simple or advanced search parameters for finding images, and the metadata is extremely thorough from image to image.

David Rumsey Map Collections

The David Rumsey Map Collection offers users access to more than 21,000 ultra high quality digital images of rare maps and other cartographic material, focused on the 18thand 19th centuries and spanning world geography. The images are made available through a number of different platforms, including Luna Commons (best for downloading), Google Map overlays, and 2- and 3-D GIS viewers. The website also includes other useful features under the “Blog” category, particularly the blog itself, related websites, and videos on the subject of mapping.

Digital Public Library of America

Digitized collections from American libraries, archives, and museums. The collection’s topics range from the written word, works of art and culture, records of America’s heritage, and scientific efforts.

Dissertation Abstracts

Lists the dissertations submitted to the ProQuest / UMI dissertation reproduction company: more than 2 million master’s theses and dissertations completed in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and other places in Europe from 1861 to the present, including abstracts for those completed later than 1988.


Online archive of the Italian architecture and design magazine including all issues since its 1928 launch to three before the latest volume.  Contact the library staff for the log-in information.

Duke Digital Collections

This page brings together all of the digital media collections made available by Duke University. A few individual collections are Duke-only but otherwise are open to all. The subject matter ranges widely across the visual and literary arts, history, popular culture, and more. Of particular interest are several collections focused on the history of advertising, African-American women, and a collection of Vica comics, which were produced by the Nazi–controlled government in German–occupied France as a propaganda tool against the Allied forces. Collections can be keyword-searched individually or all together, and images are of excellent quality across the different collections.

Early English Books Online (EEBO)

Contains digital facsimile images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473 to 1700.

Early European Books Online

Contains digital facsimile images of rare and hard-to-access sources printed in Europe from the origin of printing to the end of the 17th century.

ECCO (18th-Century Collections Online)

Offers digital images of every page of significant English-language and foreign-language titles printed in the United Kingdom during the 18th century, as well as thousands from the Americas. The Library subscribes to Parts I and II of the database.

Encyclopedia of American Studies

The EAS is sponsored by the American Studies Association and has more than 800 online, searchable articles and accompanying bibliographies, related websites, illustrations, and supplemental material covering the history, philosophy, arts, and cultures of the United States in relation to the world, from pre-colonial days to the present.

English Short Title Catalog

Lists over 480,000 items published between 1473 and 1800 mainly, but not exclusively, in English. Published mainly in the British Isles and North America from the collections of the British Library and over 2,000 other libraries.


Search for texts, videos, sound, and images from many European museums, archives, and libraries. Note that the site does not include collections outside of Europe, commercial projects, or websites.

Fashion and Race Database

Provides sources for learning about all matters connected to fashion, appearance and race. Users can search the library for references; the objects section, for images and collections; and the profiles section for people who have shaped the history and business of fashion. In addition, the site contains essays and news, an events calendar and directory.
Note: Users will be prompted to create a personal account on their first visit.  Contact library staff with any questions.


Flickr is an image-hosting and -sharing website which claims to host more than 4 billion digital images uploaded by its users. Although many of the images will have nothing to do with the decorative arts and material culture, there is a wealth of vacation photographs, book scans, etc., that may be of value. Since the images are generated entirely by users, the image quality varies widely (although they are often available as large JPEGs), as will the quality, extent and accuracy of metadata. Note that all images have rights notices displayed, and some users have released their work for free use (including commercial use) under a Creative Commons license.

Flickr Commons

Flickr Commons offers cultural heritage institutions a centralized, easy-to-use site to host selections from their digitized collections, and in so doing facilitate much wider public access to these collections than might otherwise be possible. At present nearly forty institutions, American and international, contribute digital images to the Commons, with the Smithsonian, Brooklyn Museum, Getty, and Library of Congress being just a few of them. Metadata and image quality vary by institution and only limited search options are available, but users can browse by tag or by contributing institutions (which often create thematic image groups).

Gale OneFile: Pop Culture Studies

This database covers scholarly journals and magazines that both analyze and contribute to popular culture. 

Gale OneFile: Popular Magazines

Includes more than 1,000 full text magazines and includes over 600 titles recommended by Bowker's Magazines for Libraries. Coverage from 1980 to the present.

Gale OneFile: Science

A collection of over 1,000 peer-reviewed journals in the sciences. More than 350 full-text, non-embargoed journals are covered. Key subjects covered include the biological sciences, computing, engineering, and technology. Coverage from 1980 to the present.


Online database from the Bibliothèque nationale de France offering a wide variety of fully scanned and searchable art resources, including auction catalogues.

Getty Research Portal

Access over 60,0000 digitized art history publications, rare books, auction catalogs and related literature.

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names

The Thesaurus of Geographic Names is a structured vocabulary of geographic places relevant to the study of art and architecture. The thesaurus includes current and former geo-political entities, inhabited sites, and cultural regions, as well as landforms and bodies of water. Each place record includes preferred and variant names, place types, and coordinates and indicates its relationship to other places in the hierarchy.

Getty Union List of Artist Names

The Union List of Artist Names is a structured vocabulary with nearly 300,000 records for creators of cultural objects, including artists, architects, designers, and manufacturers. Beyond standardized naming conventions, creator records may include variant spellings, pseudonyms or given names, as well as biographic and bibliographic information when available.

Great Buildings Collection

Great Buildings Collection is an excellent online resource for information about and images of architecture. The site features 1,200 architectural historically significant buildings from all points of human history and on (nearly) all continents. Great Buildings presents key information about each building, alongside photographic images, architectural drawings, maps, timelines, and 3-D building models. Users can access buildings by browsing maps and timelines, by creators and locations, or by searching essential fields. Images vary in quality, and some are externally linked, but on the whole they are good

Harvard University Digital Collections

Harvard University makes a number of its special collections available in digitized form, which range widely by object type and subject matter. Highlights include “Studies in Scarlet: Marriage & Sexuality in the U.S. and U.K., 1815–1914” and “Contagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics.” Collections are only searchable and browsable individually, and the interface, metadata, and image quality vary from collection to collection, but they range generally from good to excellent.


HathiTrust is a partnership of academic and research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world. HathiTrust offers reading access to the fullest extent allowable by U.S. copyright law. 

Historical New York Times

As part of the ProQuest Historical Newspapers program, this resource offers full-text and full-image articles from the New York Times dating back to the 18th century. The complete paper, cover-to-cover, with full-page views and article images, is available.

History of Collecting in America

Database created to help researchers locate primary source material about American art collectors, dealers, agents and advisers, and the repositories that hold these records. Covers 18th century to present.


International advertising & design database


Iconclass is a hierarchically ordered collection of definitions of objects, people, events and abstract ideas that may serve as the subject of an image.

Images from the History of Medicine

Images from the History of Medicine provides access to nearly 70,000 images in the collections of the History of Medicine Division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The collection includes portraits, photographs, caricatures, genre scenes, posters, and graphic arts illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine from the 15th to the 21st century. The collection uses the Luna interface to browse, search, and download images, which are of excellent quality and have excellent metadata.

Index to 19th-Century Art Periodicals

A complete index of 42 art periodicals published in the United States during the 19th century, the sole online index to virtually all the art journals published in that period.

Infotrac Newsstand

This full-text newspaper database has several New York Newspapers including the New York Times from 1995 on, and over 1,000 major U.S. regional, national, and local newspapers.

International Medieval Bibliography

A multidisciplinary bibliography of Europe, North Africa and the Near East (300-1700), including over 4,500 journals, conference proceedings and exhibition catalogs.  If you are having difficulty accessing this resource, contact the library staff for the log-in information.

Internet Archive

A non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. The site includes the Wayback Machine, a digital archive of the World Wide Web.

Iter - Gateway to Middle Ages and the Renaissance

A bibliography of interdisciplinary literature pertaining to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700).

J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum makes available digital images of a large number of the works in its collection, which ranges from painting to furniture to architectural elements and includes some particularly fine examples of decorative arts objects. The image database is searchable by keyword or browsable by artist, work type, or subject, and the images available are of good quality.


A backfile of core journals in the arts and sciences, JSTOR contains millions of pages of high-quality PDFs of hundreds of academic journals. Bard Graduate Center’s access to JSTOR is provided by Bard College, which subscribes to the Jewish Studies collection and the Arts & Sciences collections I-VIII. JSTOR provides PDFs of articles and journal issues starting from three to seven years ago and proceeds backwards in time to the beginnings of each journal. Note that JSTOR does not necessarily provide access to full-text articles from recent journal issues (see Project Muse).


Provides full-text access to a wide range of news, business, legal, and reference information.

Library of Congress, Online Catalog of the Prints and Photographs Division

The Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress holds a massive collection of printed and photographed materials, 75% of which is cataloged and a substantial portion of that for which digital images are available. Objects span the fullest range of subject matter and so the collection has a wide potential relevance. Users can browse specific collections (e.g. National Child Labor Committee Collection, British Cartoons), or find images using the limited search options. Metadata is excellent throughout and the catalog interoperates with the Library’s Thesaurus of Geographic Material (TGM, see thesauri). Images are another high point: all that can be made available are (some have copyright restrictions or have not yet been scanned), and are available as excellent quality JPEGs and uncompressed archival TIFFs.

Life Magazine Photo Archive

Google hosts millions of prints and photographs from Life Magazine’s photography archive. Works date as far back as the 1750s and many were never published. Images can be browsed by decade and by some suggested subjects, but otherwise keyword searching is the only available search tool. Even with limited search options this remains an immensely valuable image resource, particularly for scholars of American social history and/or material culture. It should also be noted that images are of extremely high quality.

Loeb Classical Library

More than 530 volumes of Latin, Greek, and English texts are available in the Loeb Classical Library, along with up-to-date texts and translations. This virtual library covers epic and lyric poetry; tragedy and comedy; history, travel, philosophy, and oratory; the great medical writers and mathematicians and everything important in Greek and Latin literature. The site is fully searchable and perpetually growing. Readers can browse, search, bookmark, annotate, and share content.

Luna Commons

Luna Commons hosts a number of freely available collections (permissions-based collections require a subscription, which BGC does not have) from participating institutions. These include the Catena Collection, the Farber Gravestone Collection, and Cornell’s Political Americana Collection. The searching and viewing interface is elegant and the metadata and image quality is excellent across all collections.

Making of America

A digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction from the collections of Cornell University and the University of Michigan.


A portal to all of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s digitized publications (exhibition catalogues, books, Bulletins, and Journals), currently offering nearly 650 titles published from 1964 to the present.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the preeminent art museum in the United States and holds more than 2 million works of art representing all periods, cultures, and manners of human creative production. The museum’s online database features more than 130,000 digital images of these works. Metadata is thorough throughout, and users can find images by browsing curatorial departments, or by using keyword or advanced searches. While image quality is good for all objects, many (though not all) are available as higher resolution JPEGs through Artstor, and many of these are made available to publish for academic purposes for free.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website, is an extraordinarily comprehensive informational resource for students of the history of visual and material culture. The site offers essential information about the full temporal, geographical and material span of human productivity, all illustrated with works from the Met’s collection. Users can access information by browsing maps and timelines, by accessing thematic essays such as “Wisteria Dining Rooms, Paris” or by using keyword searches.

MoMA Exhibition History Digital Archive

Featuring catalogues, archival material, installation photographs, checklists and an index of artists, this database covers all MoMA exhibitions from 1929 to present.

Morgan Library and Museum Collection

The Morgan Library and Museum makes available digital images of many of the manuscripts and objects in its holdings. Users can access these images either by using Corsair, which takes the format of a standard library catalog, or by using the collections page of the Morgan’s website. The collections page is user-friendly but offers less information, and the catalog features extensive metadata but in an awkward format.

Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art has more than 30,000 images of works from its collection available for browsing and searching online. Of particular interest are the more than 6,000 works in the Department of Architecture and Design, which range from the mid-19th century to the present and represent a wide variety of object types. Images are of average quality, but the browse and search tools are both intuitive and extremely refined. Note that some of MoMA’s collection has been made available as high-resolution JPEGs via Artstor.

New York Public Library Digital Gallery

NYPL Digital Gallery provides free and open access to more than 700,000 images digitized from the New York Public Library’s vast collections and include illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, posters, prints, photographs, and more. The subject matter extends far beyond New York City, giving this resource wide potential relevance. Users can search for materials using basic and advanced options or by browsing by subject. The library has also grouped images to form collections, such as “Ornament and Pattern: Pre-Victorian Art Deco,” and “Vintage Holiday Postcards.” Images are of very good quality; non-commercial uses are encouraged; and it’s easy to acquire rights and high-quality TIFFs for publishing.

Newspaper Source

Provides full text for 238 sources, including 175 regional U.S. newspapers, 20 international newspapers, 15 newswires and newspaper columns, and 24 TV and radio news transcriptions.

NYC Archaeological Repository

The NYC Archaeological Repository is a digital collection of the city's archaeological artifacts from over 32 sites within New York City. The records have excavation site and project descriptions as well as images of each artifact found within. 

Oxford Art Online

Oxford Art Online is both an excellent informational resource for the study of the visual arts and an image search engine. At the main page you can choose between an informational search and one that only returns images, with these images being of good quality. While Oxford itself hosts only 6000 or so images, available articles often include links to external image resources such as museum websites.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (DNB)

An illustrated collection of more than 57,000 specially written biographies of noteworthy people from around the world in any walk of life who were connected with the British Isles and British history worldwide.

Oxford English Dictionary

The OED in online form.

Oxford University Digital Collections

Oxford University offers a number of its special collections, particularly those from the Bodleian Library, in digital form. Collections are disparate in subject, from Athenian pottery to 18th- and 19thcentury board games, and at present are presented in isolation, with no cross-collection browse or search options available. Images vary in quality by collection: some are large and high resolution, whereas others are small and pixelated.

Patrologia Latina

An electronic version of Jacques-Paul Migne's Patrologia Latina, which comprises the works of the Church Fathers from Tertullian in 200 AD to the death of Pope Innocent III in 1216. The database contains the complete Patrologia Latina, including all prefatory material, original texts, critical apparatus, and indexes.

Project Muse

Like JSTOR, Project Muse provides high-quality PDFs of issues of hundreds of academic journals, but whereas JSTOR provides the earliest issues of their journals up through a point that does not reach the present day, Project Muse provides only the most recent issues of the journals that it covers.

Religion and Philosophy Collection (EBSCO)

Provides extensive coverage of such topics as world religions, major denominations, biblical studies, religious history, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of language, moral philosophy and the history of philosophy.

Religion and Philosophy Collection (Gale)

Provides access to hundreds of subject-appropriate full-text periodicals. Coverage from 1980 to the present.


Full-text 19th- and early 20th-century art journals including The Studio, Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, and Art et Décoration. Part of the Arts:Search (formerly designinform) package.


Electronic collection of science, technology and medicine full text and bibliographic information. Search for peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters (including open access content) in life and health sciences, physical science and engineering and social sciences and humanities.


Provides bibliographic information on auction sales catalogues from major North American and European auction houses as well as important private sales, and indicates which libraries hold the catalogues in their collections.

Serials Directory by EBSCOhost®

Provides bibliographic information and current pricing structures for popular serials. It contains nearly 212,000 U.S. and international titles, including newspapers.

Smithsonian Archives Image Gallery

The Smithsonian Archives Image Gallery offers a single interface for the browsing and searching of the vast holdings of the Smithsonian’s many sub-institutions, including the National Museum of the American Indian, the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and National Anthropological Archives. Users can browse by sub-institution, subjects, or object types, or access images using keyword searching. A variety of media types are available, including very good quality still and moving images, sound files, transcriptions, etc., and users can limit searches by media type.

The Times Digital Archive, 1785–2006

The Times Digital Archive, 1785–2006, makes 221 years of The Times of London available for researchers.

Thesaurus for Graphic Materials

The Thesaurus for Graphic Materials (TGM) provides a substantial body of terms for the subject, genre and format indexing of pictorial materials. Developed to support the cataloging and retrieval needs of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, it is made publicly available in the hope that it will promote standardization in image cataloging. When searching TGM users can link to related images from the Library's Prints and Photographs catalog.

Transferware Collectors Club Patterns and Sources

This database provides members with easy online access to a valuable source of information about transfer-printed patterns and their sources. Patterns can be searched under Pattern (and Series) Name, Maker’s Name, Maker's Marks, Pattern Category, Border, Predominant Features, and by the Print and Ceramic Sources that inspired them.  A user name and password are required for access. Contact the library staff for the log-in information.

Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum, a UK based institution dedicated to the decorative arts and material culture, makes a substantial portion of its collection available in digital format through its online image database. The database has more than 1 million entries, with metadata and image quality varying from record to record. The search functionality allows users to restrict results to only the highest quality records, and other search and browse features are both extensive and intuitive. The V&A also makes acquiring image rights and high-quality digital files extremely easy (and when possible free) by incorporating “shopping cart” style ordering into the site.

Visual Arts Data Service

The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) makes available more than 100,000 images across 45 different collections submitted by participating U.K. institutions. Collections of particular interest include Designing Britain from the Design Archives at the University of Brighton and the John Johnson Collection of Trades and Professions. Collections can be searched by keyword or by using the advanced search options, within individual fields, and both metadata and images are of good quality from collection to collection.

Vogue Archive

A complete searchable archive of American Vogue, from the first issue in 1892 to the current month, reproduced in high-resolution color page images.

Web Gallery of Art

The Web Gallery of Art is an online database of more than 24,000 digital images of European painting and sculpture from the Romanesque period through Romanticism. Its coverage of both major and minor artists is extensive, and significant works often have multiple details available. The site also includes guided tours for periods and places, biographies for many creators, and a glossary with definitions of subjects, materials, and more. Metadata and image quality are both good, search options are extensive, and browsing is intuitive. This is an excellent resource for images of painting or sculpture to supplement a paper or presentation.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons hosts more than 6 million media files contributed to the site by users. Images range across all subjects, time periods and geographic regions, and because users contribute them, will necessarily vary in their quality and the extent of their metadata. Virtually all images made available through Wikimedia Commons (though not necessarily Wikipedia) may be freely re-used without the granting of individual permissions, though copyright information is supplied by contributors and should be verified if you choose to publish or publicly display any provided media.

Wikimedia Free Image Resources

Wikimedia’s Free Image Resources page features links to sites exclusively or primarily hosting freely usable digital images. These links are categorized by subject and briefly described. While similar in form and concept to Wikimedia’s Public Domain Image Resources page the links themselves are generally unique.

Wikimedia Public Domain Image Resources

Wikimedia’s Public Domain Image Resources page features links to sites exclusively or primarily hosting public domain digital images. These links are categorized by subject and briefly described. While similar in form and concept to Wikimedia’s Free Image Resources page the links themselves are generally unique.

William J. Hill Texas Artisans and Artists Archive

This database comprises of biographies and primary source materials on 19th century, Texas artisans & artists in ceramics, furniture, textiles, metalworks, photographs, paintings, and works on paper.

Women's Wear Daily Archive

A comprehensive archive of Women’s Wear Daily, from the first issue in 1910 to material from within the last twelve months, reproduced in high-resolution images.

World Digital Library

The World Digital Library offers historically significant primary documents (including books, manuscripts, and still and motion pictures) from all inhabited regions of the world in high-quality digital format. One can browse by region, time period, object type and more, or search by keyword. Individual images can be saved as high quality TIFFs; multi-page works can be saved page-by-page as TIFFs, or as whole documents in PDF format; and video and audio recordings are available for download as MPEGs or MP3s, respectively.

WorldCat via OCLC's Firstsearch

Books and other materials in over 9,000 libraries worldwide. Contains all the records cataloged by OCLC member libraries: over 67 million bibliographic records. Advanced searching options in the FirstSearch platform allow for very targeted searching.

WorldCat via also includes records for about 30 million journal and magazine articles.


WorldImages, the product of the California State University system’s IMAGE project, contains nearly 75,000 images representing the arts, sciences, history, material culture, and natural and built environments of virtually all human cultures. Images are grouped into more than 800 portfolios (such as Food & Kitchens), which are further organized into subject groupings (Material Culture & Daily Life), allowing users to browse related groups of images

Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library offers more than 250,000 digitized images of photographs, textual documents, illuminated manuscripts, maps, works of art, and books in the Beinecke’s collections. Images are browsable by subject specific collections, such Book of Secrets: Alchemy and the European Imagination, 1500–2000 and Russian Graphic Art and the Revolution of 1905, or searchable using keywords or extensive advanced search options. The metadata and image quality are excellent throughout all collections.