This is the "Using Visual Resources" page of the "Visual Resources" guide.
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Visual Resources   Tags: digital  

A guide to help you identify image collections at U.M., search for images, and incorporate them in your research and teaching.
Last Updated: Nov 5, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Using Visual Resources Print Page

Visual Resources

USA.  Alaska.  Ketchikan.  1995.  Nathan Jackson, Tlingit Indian totem carver@ Saxman Totem Park.  Thomas Hoepker/Magnum Photos.  (ARTstor)


Using Visual Resources

This guide is designed to help you locate high-quality digital images quickly and easily. 

The images included in these resources encompass many subject areas in the arts and humanities and social sciences.  For the sake of simplicity they have been grouped into the categories of Art, Architecture and Photography.

A number of copyright-free digital image websites are listed under "Free Open Web Sources" found on the "Free vs. Fee Images" tab.

Search Strategies

These suggestions are from the University of Washington Subject Guide for Images, created by Denise Hattwig and Justin Wadland.  

Browse the databases in the Subject Guide of your choice.

Try searching more than one database.

Move beyond Google Images:  try ARTstor or another image database.

Familiarize yourself with the database you have chosen.  Browse it and use the "About" or "Help" pages.

Vary the keywords you use in your search.


    Evaluating Images

    It is important to critically evaluate images just as you would for any other source, to determine their quality, reliability, and appropriateness.  Elements to consider are analysis of the content, the image itself, the accompanying information, source of the images, and technical quality.  For further information, see the University of Washington Subject Guide for Images, created by Denise Hattwig and Justin Wadland. Go to: Evaluating Images 


      Would you like to enhance your skills to use software such as PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop, etc.?  If so, try, which offers over 42,000 "how-to" videos on a wide-range of software applications, from Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop to Final Cut Studio.  Go to:


        Duke Guide to Images

        Lee Sorenson, Visual Studies Librarian at Duke University, has prepared a research guide covering visual literacy, image searching, and legal questions.  It has links to multiple websites and could be useful for any course--art or non-art--that uses images as documentation sources: Duke University Libraries Visual Literacy LibGuide


          Subject Guide

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          Gilda Santana, Associate Librarian Professor
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