Image Databases in the Library
Note: You will need to create a personal user account to access Artstor. If you have an existing JSTOR account, you can use that by linking it to Artstor.
Comprehensive database of art images to view, analyze, save for use in presentations. To save/download images you must set up a personal account.
Adam Matthew Explorer
Millions of primary source documents from across the world spanning the 15th - 21st centuries.
Digital Image Collections on the Web
The Ad*Access Project from Duke University Libraries
The Ad*Access Project presents images and information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955.
AdViews from Duke University Libraries
The AdViews digital collection provides access to thousands of historic commercials created for clients or acquired by the D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B) advertising agency or its predecessor during the 1950s - 1980s.
AIGA Design Archives
The AIGA archives and special collections serve to identify, preserve, and make collections of enduring value available to the public. With more than 20,000 selections dating back to 1924, the AIGA Design Archives is a vital record of all disciplines of communication design.
AIGA Design Medalists
Medals have been awarded since 1920 to individuals who have set standards of excellence over a lifetime of work or have made individual contributions to innovation within the practice of design. Search here for the recipients and their biographical profiles.
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Online Collection
This website represents Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s diverse collection, spanning thirty centuries of historic and contemporary design.
Designers Bios at the Graphic Design Archive Online, RIT
The Graphic Design Archive (GDA) at Rochester Institute of Technology documents and preserves the work of significant American graphic designers active from the 1920s to the 1960s, as well as selected contemporary designers working in the modernist traditions.
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)
DPLA connects people to photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and much more, held within America’s libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. All of the materials are free and immediately available in digital format. Browse by topic to narrow your search.
Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920 from Duke University Libraries
This collection presents over 3,300 items relating to the early history of advertising in the United States. The materials, drawn from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University, provide a significant and informative perspective on the early evolution of this most ubiquitous feature of modern American business and culture.
Letterform Archive is a nonprofit center that chronicles "the history of written communication, from the invention of writing and medieval manuscripts to modernism, the age of print to the present explosion of digital type."
Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
The Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) contains catalog records and digital images representing a rich cross-section of still pictures held by the Prints & Photographs Division and, in some cases, other units of the Library of Congress. Browse by collection to narrow your search.
Media History Digital Library
A free online resource, featuring millions of pages of books and magazines from the histories of film, broadcasting, and recorded sound, led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The New York Public Library Digital Collection
The New York Public Library Digital Collections contains 884,351 items and counting, representative of the diversity of the vast collections—from books to videos, maps to manuscripts, illustrations to photos, and more.
A Short Introduction to Graphic Design History
This site was first put on the web in 1999 by Nancy Stock-Allen, professor at Moore College of Art and Design as a quick outline of her lectures for graphic design students.
Tools for Getting Your Research Started
Public Domain Image Resources
Public domain means that these resources are openly available for reuse, without copyright restriction.
The British Library on Flickr Commons
"The British Library’s collections on Flickr Commons offer access to millions of public domain images, which we encourage you to explore and re-use."
Getty Open Content Program
"The Getty makes available, without charge, all available digital images to which the Getty holds the rights or that are in the public domain to be used for any purpose. No permission is required."
Library of Congress Free to Use and Reuse Sets
"This page features items from the Library's digital collections that are free to use and reuse. The Library believes that this content is either in the public domain, has no known copyright, or has been cleared by the copyright owner for public use."
The Met's Open Access Artworks
"Enjoy more than 375,000 hi-res images of public-domain works from the collection."
Open Access at the National Gallery of Art
"Over 50,000 images are available for download, and we will continue to add more images for free access as more works are photographed and as works of art enter the public domain."
The Public Domain Review
Founded in 2011, The Public Domain Review is an online journal and not-for-profit project dedicated to the exploration of works now fallen into the public domain from the history of art, literature, and ideas.
"A collection of 76,533,652 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute"