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Images: A Guide

"One picture is worth more than a thousand words." - Chinese Proverb

Printed Sources (Images printed on paper)

Asking at the Reference desk for help with the following can save you time.

  • Slide Collection
    The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has a circulating collection of more than 60,000 slides covering many subject areas with emphasis on major paintings, sculpture and architecture.
  • Visual Image ("Picture") Collection includes approximately 200,000 pictures of people, places, things, and works of art, cut from sources such as magazines and mounted on 8" X 10"cardboard. You can ask for various categories of pictures. "Baby Animals", "Costume - India", "Railroads", "Space Travel", "Dragons", "Civil Rights Movement" and "U.S. History" are just a few of the hundreds of subjects.
  • Books… on the subject of your image.
  • Copyright- free and clip art (mostly black & white) See Clip Art Shelf at the Reference Desk. We also have many books which can be borrowed.
  • Illustration Indexes: These are books which list other publications in which to find particular illustrations:

Art Reproductions

  • Visual Image Collection: (See description of Visual Image Collection above) This section includes examples of traditional styles of art from various cultures, reproductions of artists' works , and the Sculpture File.
  • Books on art: Ask us for suggestions.
  • Indexes:
  • Color Plate Index This is an index created by the department's staff. It lists books in our collection in which you can find reproductions of specific paintings.
  • World Painting Index. Patricia Pate Havlice. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1977, 1982, 1995. rND45 .h28
  • Sculpture Index. Jane Clapp. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1970. r 016.73 C51 v.1, 2, 3

Vendors' catalogs of art reproductions

Online Sources: A Selection

There are many online sources for searching for images on the Web. As a rule, pictures from the Web tend to be small images and pixelated (not sharp), but offer visual information. Here are some of the best sites. The aim here is to provide images for which you do not need to pay the provider; however, there may be several sources for copyrighted images & stock photo companies interspersed. A color printer is available in the Music & Art Department.

ART and NON-ART combined

  • Accunet/AP Photo Archive
    Current events, historical images & portraits of historical figures for the past 150 years from Associated Press.. Can be accessed through the Library's Home Page. Click on "Online Encyclopedias", and scroll down to "Photo Archives". Because the library already subscribes, do not "Register for a Free Account" to access pictures. It is recommended that you read the FAQs and User's Guide.
    "This site claims to be the most comprehensive on the Web, indexing over 150 million images. Keyword searches produce return pages with 20 thumbnails, each of which includes image size information and the URL of the source page."

Art and Architecture

  • ARLIS/NA (Art Libraries Society of North America)
    ARLIS is the professional organization for art librarians in museum, academic and public libraries. This site offers links to many sources of art and architecture images to help these professionals and you.
  • Visual Resources Association (VRA)
    A non-profit organization established to further research and education in the field of visual resources. The membership includes slide librarians and curators in museums and universities Their work requires access to a wide variety of images. Click on "Additional Resources." Excellent selection of site primarily art & architecture.
  •    Artcylclopedia. To quote them: "Our mission is to become the definitive and most effective guide to museum-quality fine art on the Internet: We have compiled a comprehensive index of every artist represented at hundreds of museum sites, image archives, and other online resources."
  •    An assortment of sites including such diverse images as cave paintings, graffiti art, representations of Jesus Christ and more.

Posters & prints, to buy

In addition to the print sources mentioned above under Vendors' catalogs of art reproductions, check various museum web sites as well as the following online vendors:

Web sites often change; new ones are created; old ones can become outdated. If you need help finding an image, please don't hesitate to ask us.