Skip to main content

Images - Finding & Using

This guide provides information on where to find images for your research and direction on the use of images for educational purposes.

Image Databases

UBC Library subscribes to a number of online databases that include a variety of images, from art and architecture, to fashion, humanities, anatomy, and much more. Below we've highlighted some of the main licensed databases that provide access to images to use in your research. 

For more databases visit our Indexes & Databases page and search for "images".

Note: Access to these resources is available only to UBC students, faculty, staff and on-site Library users. Users will need to make sure their computers are configured for off-campus access when researching away from campus.

Index Databases

In addition to Image Databases, the Library also subscribes to Index Databases. Some databases contain bibliographies, abstracts, reference entires and indexes about art and artists to help you broaden your research past images alone. Some databases index illustrations and art reproductions found in periodicals; other bibliographic databases include entries about artists from antiquity to the present day. Below you can find a selection of the main image Index Databases.

Open Access Databases

Open Access is a movement driven by the idea that access is available to everyone: students, policy makers, professionals, scholars, and the public. Although material may be copyrighted, more and more institutions are removing barriers to research and are making their image collections freely available online. 


Following is a list of online databases containing images from UBC Library Rare Books and Special Collections, the Museum of Anthropology (MOA), and from other Open Access Databases that digitize materials to be freely available online. For more of UBC's digitize collections, please consult UBC Library's Open Collections.