How Do I Find Images?

Find Massey Library books with images

Search Discover for:

  • Broad topic search terms (e.g. textile*). Add format terms such as illustrated, pictorial, pictogram* or photograph* to your topic search terms (e.g. textile* photograph*). Don’t forget to use the asterisk to pick up multiple word endings.
  • The type of publication that fits your needs (e.g. "visual dictionary", maps)

Try it:

Find images online

Explore the following:

Arrow Wikimedia Commons
Over 11 million freely-usable (although still subject to some conditions) domain media files contributed by individuals and institutions.

Arrow Flickr: The Commons
Millions of quality historical and current images offered under creative commons licences. Many are from from cultural institutions.

Arrow NYPL Digital Collections
Rich resource for heritage images across a range of disciplines - most in public domain.

Arrow  Pexels
Stock photos offered under a Creative Commons Zero licence (free for legal uses). Search or browse by theme

Arrow Google Images: Advanced Search
Very wide scope, but quality and origins are often suspect. To find images that can be legally used, from the Advanced Search cog wheel select images that are 'free to use or share' in the Usage rights filter.


Many image repositories are restricted to subject-specific images e.g. art, medical, advertising. Try one of these first if it is relevant.

For more historical or 'heritage' images try Flickr: the Commons and other museum or heritage sites. In Google Images adding a decade to your search terms can be useful.

If you need high resolution and/or culturally-authentic images use reputable sites such as cultural institutions or academic image databanks such as ARTStor.

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