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Images: a guide to finding visual resources: Image

Quick overview of searching for images in the databases Cornell University Library has built or licenses, as well as collections on the open web.


There are two basic types of image searches:

  • Quick searches
  • Single collection searches

Start by disabling any pop-up blockers that your browser or browser toolbars may have activated. If you’re using a PC with Internet Explorer, you can hold down the control key while you click to launch a collection, which will override the pop-up blocker.

Top Image Databases at Cornell

Cornell University Library has built or subscribes to a number of image databases that give Cornell community members access to millions of images, most with high resolution and rich descriptions. The following is a list of top databases. For more, see the subject list described below.

Cornell subscription means that you have access as a current Cornell student, faculty, and staff, or on-campus visitor. Off-campus access requires authentication onto the Cornell network (Cornell NetID).

Find More Images - Image Collections by Subject

Look for Image Collections by Subject

Go to the Images search from the library home page, then follow the link to Databases: ImagesThe more info link gives a description of the collection and a list of copyright restrictions that govern the re-use of images in each collection.  

Oxford Art

Oxford Art Online provides access to Grove Art Online, The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. Includes image partnerships with ARTstor, the British Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Images for College Teaching, Art Resource, Artists Rights Society and numerous international art galleries and artists. Includes a digital image search.

Searching Licensed Image Resources at Cornell

Cornell's Quick Search Image link on the library homepage allows you to search several collections from the library's home page.

  • ARTstor
  • Flickr Commons

If you click on the images tab, then follow the link to Browse Image Collections, you'll find a list of image databases to search individually. Just click on the name of the database to launch it.

New Database!

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