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Images - Finding & Using

This guide provides information on how to find and use images for research and 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. Highlighted below are some of the main licensed databases that provide access to images. 

For more databases visit Indexes & Databases 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, UBC 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. Some databases index illustrations and art reproductions found in periodicals; other bibliographic databases include entries about artists from antiquity to the present day. A selection of the main image Index Databases is provided below.

Open Access Databases

Open Access content is available to everyone: students, scholars, professionals, 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. 


The following is a list of freely available online databases containing images from UBC Library's Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC), the Museum of Anthropology (MOA), and other Open Access sources. For more digitized collections from UBC, see: UBC Library's Open Collections.