An Updated Selection of Digital Image Libraries, Collections and Museums: An Illustrated, Annotated Webliography

International Center of Photography 


Weegee at his typewriter in the trunk of his 1938 ‘Chevy’. Unidentified Photographer. ca. 1943. The International Center of Photography. Dimensions: Image: 11 15/16 x 9 3/16 in. (30.3 x 23.3 cm), Paper: 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm), Mount: 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm); Purchase, with funds provided by the Lois and Bruce Zenkel Purchase Fund, 1982.  Accessed September 21, 2011.

The Permanent Collection at ICP contains more than 100,000 photographs. Since its opening in 1974, ICP has acquired important historical and contemporary images through a dedicated Acquisitions Committee and through generous donations and bequests from photographers and collectors. The collection spans the history of the photographic medium, from daguerreotypes to gelatin silver and digital chromogenic prints. At present approximately 20,500 records are online. More will be accessible during the course of 2011.



Man in Telephone Skit. Herbert Cole. 1976. Asafo (Fante Military) Company. Accessed September 30,

The ARTstor Digital Library provides more than a million digital images through internet accessible software designed for teaching and research. The collections comprise contributions from international museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, artists and artists’ estates.

ARTstor serves educators, curators, librarians, and students at more than 1,350 institutions including the ICP.  The ARTstor Digital Library is available by subscription through the ICP Library. The ICP has a site-wide license through the library and access is granted through the IP authentication anywhere onsite or through a membership remotely. The site licenses allow unlimited numbers of simultaneous users to access the Digital Library, both onsite and remotely.

For a subscription to ARTstor you can use remotely contact the ICP Library or stop in for a subscription and a tutorial.

Artsy Education

Artsy Education and the ability to download open-access images. Artsy is a free website with a library of 50,000 images from 650 museum, nonprofit, and gallery partners, social media tools to facilitate gallery sales and institutional fundraising by providing free access to images.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library is one of the world’s largest libraries devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts and is Yale’s principal repository for literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books. The Beinecke Library’s robust collections are used to create new scholarship by researchers from around the world. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University makes high-resolution images of the art in their collections available in the public domain at


Calisphere is the University of California’s free public gateway to a world of primary sources. More than 200,000 digitized items — including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts — reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history. Calisphere’s content has been selected from the libraries and museuams of the UC campuses, and from a variety of cultural heritage organizations across California. Calispherethe  makes high-resolution images of the art in their collections available in the public domain at

The Commons on Flickr


Mr Clampett and Mr Downes. A. H. Poole Studio Photographer. A. H. Poole Studio. 1884. The Commons. Accessed September 22, 2011.

The Commons on Flickr shows images from public photography archives. This web site aims to make publicly held photographs and photography collections accessible to a wide audience. Photograph collections with “no known copyright restrictions” made available by various cultural institutions (Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and many others) and hosted by Flickr. Visitors are encouraged to participate in the project by adding tags to photos and by commenting on them so, your input and knowledge can help make these collections richer. Participating institutions include the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the State Library of New South Wales, the Brooklyn Museum.



Batman and Robin in the Batmobile. 1966-1968. Bettman/Corbis. ca. Accessed September 27, 2011.

Corbis is a private Seattle based digital image service that provides photography, illustration, footage, typefaces and rights clearance services to its members who are, for the most part, online, magazines, newspaper, and  television advertisers.

The Getty


Women With Claws, Paul Outerbridge. 1937. G. Ray Hawkins Gallery, Beverly Hills, California. Accessed September 26, 2011.

The Getty is a great place to search for certain individual photographers such as William Henry Fox Talbot, Gustave Le Ray, Roger Fenton, Julia Margaret Cameron, Carlton Watkins, Alfred Stieglitz, Walker Evens, Alfred Sander, Man Ray Paul Outerbridge, and Alvarez Bravo, as well as for photojournalism and social documentary photography. J. Paul Getty Museum makes high-resolution images of art in their collections available in the public domain The Getty is also on flickr at

George Eastman House


Untitled, from Domestic Stages. Levy, Carrie. 2004. Accessed September 29, 2011.

George Eastman House images dates from the invention to the present day. Still photography collection subjects include everything from Mexican Daguerreotypes to Nineteenth Century Balloons.


LIFE cover featuring The Jackson Five with their mother & father Joseph & Katherine, John Olson. 1971. Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images. Accessed September 27, 2011. 

Some photographs from the LIFE photo archive, from the 1750s to today are now also available through Google.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art  

the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is the largest art museum in the western United States. They make high-resolution images of the art in their collections available in the public domain

The Metropolitan Museum Photographic Collections 


Climbing the Mast. László Moholy-Nagy. 1928. Accessed September 28, 2011.

The Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Photographs surveys the history of photography from its invention in the 1830s to the present. The collection of more than 15,000 works is largely European and American, with some representation of other parts of the world, particularly Japan.

The National Media Museum


Father Christmas arrives at Selfridges by parcel post with Mickey Mouse. Woodbine, George. 1939. The National Media Museum. Accessed September 30, 2011.

The National Media Museum houses media items and artifacts of historical and cultural significance that as a whole track a technical history.  Their online selection of includes media from The National Photography, National Cinematography, National Television and National New Media Collections.

National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are a national art museum in Washington, D.C and open to the public and free of charge. The Gallery’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, medals, and decorative arts traces the development of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present, including the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas and the largest mobile ever created by Alexander Calder. National Gallery of Art offers high-resolution images of art in their collections in the public domain.

The New York Public Library

Helen Broderick as “Statue of Liberty” in As Thousands Cheer. 1933. Vandam Photo Studio. Accessed September 30, 2011.

The New York Public Library is an excellent image resource.


The Rijksmuseum  is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.  Rijksmuseum makes high-resolution images of art in their collections avaialable in the public domain

The Tibetan Album


14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso aged three.  Staunton,Harry.

The Tibetan Collections at The Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford, a favorite of our own Matthew Carson, has made around 6,000 photographs spanning 30 years of Tibet’s history available online through The Tibet Album.

The Victoria and Albert Museum

I can neither confirm nor deny The Victoria and Albert Museum’s assertion of itself as the greatest museum of art and design in world because, I have not had the pleasure of having visited myself.  But I can recommend their website as an excellent visual resource. My favorite aspect of the sight contains photographs described for blind and partially sighted visitors.

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum, located in Baltimore, Maryland.  The collection touches masterworks of ancient Egypt, Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi, medieval ivories, illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance bronzes, Old Master and 19th-century paintings, Chinese ceramics and bronzes, and Art Deco jewelry. Walters Art Museum offers high-resolution images of art in their collections in the public domain

Yale Center for British Art

The Yale Center for British Art holds the largest and most comprehensive collection of British art outside the United Kingdom, presenting the development of British art and culture from the Elizabethan period to the present day. Together with the Reference Library, the Center’s collections of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, rare books, and manuscripts provide an exceptional resource for understanding the story of British art. Yale Center for British Art makes high-resolution images of art in their collections available in the public domain

Yale University Art Gallery

The Yale University Art Gallery houses a significant and encyclopedic collection of art in several buildings on the campus of Yale University. Although it embraces all cultures and periods, the Gallery possesses especially renowned collections of early Italian painting, African sculpture, and modern art. Yale University Art Gallery offers high-resolution images of art in their collections in the public domain

Or go analog at The Picture Collection

Mid-Manhattan Library, 3nd floor

455 Fifth Avenue at 40th Street


The Picture Collection at the Mid-Manhattan Library is an encyclopedic visual resource arranged by subject.  Subject folders contain clippings of illustrations from books, newspapers and magazines as well as photographs, prints and postcards from 1914-present.  There is an entire file filled with a hundred years worth of images of broken objects.  It is amazing!

Or view some digital images from the Picture Collection:

Gallery Collection Guide: Mid-Manhattan Library Picture Collection NYPL Digital Gallery  Picture Collection Online Historical Postcards of New York City 

Read more about the history of the Picture Collection in Worth Beyond Words: Romana Javitz and The New York Public Library’s Picture Collection.

Remember: Some of the images in the Digital Gallery may be subject to third party rights such as copyright and/or rights of privacy/publicity. Before using any of their images please review the specific digital library’s terms and conditions. To learn more about copyrights, visit:

ICP LIbrary Picture Gather Resources 

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