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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.

Getting Started

Finding images for a research paper, a course assignment, or for sharing online can be challenging. This guide addresses what to consider when finding and using images, such as:

  • The difference between image full text and image index databases
  • Open access image websites
  • How to cite images using a specific citation style
  • Copyright and creative commons permissions or attributions

Here is an example of citing an image with a Creative Commons (CC) license:

Title: Mermaid Cove Sunrise

Creator: Jerry Meadon

Source: Flikr

Copyright Information: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


Note: Use of digital images is often subject to copyright and/or licensing restrictions. Consult each site's information on rights and reproductions, especially if you plan to use an image in a publication. For guidance on how to cite images in a research paper, see the How to Cite section of this guide.

Key Image Resources

Listed below are few image resources.  For more resources, explore the menu topics on the left-hand side of the page.

Search Tips

Searching ARTstor

For help with finding, viewing, and downloading images in ARTstor, watch the video below.

Reverse image search with Google Images

A quick look at how to use reverse image searches on Google.

Use slideshows for image searches on Bing

Save yourself from scrolling through pages of crowded images by making Bing's image search results play like a slideshow.

Research Help

Need additional help? Do not hesitate to contact me.

Art Librarian Sara Ellis

Sara Ellis
Art & Visual Literacy Librarian
Music, Art & Architecture Library
Room 414, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
1961 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1

Phone: 604-827-3549

Related Research Guides

While this research guide specifically addresses finding and using images, images are often just one section of a subject-based research guide. You'll find many other research guides online--the ones below are some of our favourites.