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"Unexpected Images" Research Guide: ways to find images in text databases and other open web resources

Image: screen shot of Cornell Library's "unexpected images" research guide

Hathi Trust Digital Library

Image: HathiTrust Digital Library logo

The Hathi Trust Digital Library's advanced search allows searching for:

Maps, Photographs & Pictorial Material, Videos, and Visual Material

Potential image databases of interest

Here are some databases that might provide HISTORICAL images:

Nineteenth Century Collections Online

Database of primary sources including a variety of material types: monographs, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, statistics, and more. Materials cover a wide range of academic disciplines and areas of study and include works in Western and non-Western languages.

Image: screen shot of Nineteenth-Century Collections Online homepage

Cornell University Library's Digital Collections

Image: screen shot of Cornell University Library's digital collections home page

Black Studies Center logo

Black Studies Center

In regular search results, the camera icon Black Studies Center's camera iconindicates that the entry has at least one image or multimedia component.

To limit your search results to entries that have images or multimedia:

  1. Click on the search tab
  2. Enter search term(s)
  3. For Content Type, deselect all but multimedia.
  4. Click on the search key to launch search

More images in text-based databases

Here are some databases that might provide CONTEMPORARY images:

News sources

Here's a guide to help you get to local, national, and international online news sources--many of them require paid access, which the Library provides. Here are other similar guides if you are looking for other types of news sources.

Looking for illustrated books

An illustrated book will have at least one of the following terms in the Description field:

ill. (for "illustrated"), maps, pl. (plates), col. (color), plans

Here are two examples:

  • x, 414 p. illus., diagrs., 23 col. plates. tables. 26 cm.
  • 71 p. illus., 9 pl., 2 col. maps. 25 cm.

Commonly-used subject headings include:

[Try some of the links to subject terms above explore further]