Art History Research: Identifying Online Resources: Images

Avery Librarians - Reference

Columbia University Libraries Logo
Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Librarians
300 Avery Hall

Images Intro

Online Image Collections

The list below represents some key online image collections. For more detailed information on searching for images, see our Image Collections Online guide.

Image Collections

IconArtstor. (Artstor)
This is the largest of the searchable databases of art and architecture images with their associated catalog data.  New image collections added several times a year. ARTstor covers many time periods and cultures, and documents not only the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design, but it also covers anthropology, ethnographic and women's studies, and many other forms of visual culture. Users can search, view, download and organize images. ARTstor database can be searched by Keyword or users can do an Advanced Search by Creator, Title, Location, Repository, Subject, Material, Style or Period, Work Type, Culture, Description, Technique, and Number.  

Library of Congress. Prints & Photographs (P&P) online catalog.
Contains catalog records and digital images representing a cross-section of still pictures held by the Prints & Photographs Division and other units of the Library of Congress. Provides access through group or item records to about half of the Division's holdings.The database provides searchable access to digitized photographs, prints, and drawings.  Subjects and formats strongly represented by digital images include: the American Civil War; the Great Depression and World War II; architectural documentation for historic structures in the U.S.; historical photographs of the Middle East and Russia; baseball; history of flight; Lewis Hine's child labor photographs; political, theater, and WPA posters; editorial cartoons; and fine prints, especially by U.S. and Japanese artists.


NYPL digital collections. (New York Public Library)
This site is a living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more. Includes: Photographic views of New York City, 1870s-1970s; Mid-Manhattan Picture Collection, Print Collection Portrait File, and many, many others.


IconOxford art online.
Search by IMAGE.  Oxford Art Online provides access to Grove Art Online, Benezit Dictionary of Artists, The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art. It 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.


IconPrometheus : das verteilte digitale Bildarchiv für Forschung & Lehre. [To get in, click on the "Campus Login" below the individual name/password option]
Digitized images from the fields of arts, culture and history. prometheus is a distributed digital image archive that currently connects 94 databases from institutes, research facilities and museums on a common user interface. Situated at the Institute of Art History of the University of Cologne