Art & Design Image Hubs

Subject gateways to selected collections, archives, museums and other art and design image databases. These sites offer cross-collection searching and browsing options.

VADS (Visual Arts Data Service)
Archival collections, ranging from architecture to textiles, including the Design Council Archive (UK). Cross-collection searching and browsing. There is the option to save search results in a personal ‘Lightbox’.  The ‘Learning Index’ feature provides image-based learning and teaching materials. Open access and free, images are for personal educational and research purposes only.

A gateway to fine art museum image collections, including some architecture and decorative art. Searchable by artist’s name, title or art movement with a direct link to relevant image in museum or gallery website. Websites allowing personal educational use of images are highlighted.

Europeana is an initiative bringing together over 6 million digital items, including images, text, sound & video. It allows you to search for content from a vast assortment of cultural collections across Europe, including for example, the Rijksmuseum, the Louvre and the British Library.

Flickr Commons
A search interface, using the power of Flickr, to bring you a selection of images from public photography archives such as the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, National Maritime Museum, National Archives UK and many, many more.

Intute Arts and Humanites
Integrated searching across a wide range of image databases. Intute coverage extends to all areas of the visual arts. Websites listed are selected for quality and relevance to the arts and creative industries. Check the conditions of use for each site accessed.

Uncapping the lens: The History of Early Photography
This webpage, compiled by a member of the ACRL (Association of College & Research Libraries), a division of the ALA (American Library Association) is a really useful list of links to resources relating to early photography and photographic processes.

World Digital Library
A search interface spanning 37 libraries, archives and museums across the globe which can be browsed by place; time; topic; type of item and institution.


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