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Image Locator


USE THE LIBRARY'S ONLINE PUBLIC ACCESS CATALOG to search for books on the subject of your image. (Hint: do a ‘word’ search in the catalog and add the term ‘pictorial’ to get citations to books that include images.)

USE PERIODICAL INDEXES, either online or in bound volumes, to search for journal article citations on the subject of your image. Readers Guide, Proquest and Searchbank are a good starting place. Indexes such as Art Index provide specialized search capabilities. (Hint: look for the abbreviations ‘illus’ or ‘por’ to get citations that include images.)

USE REFERENCE BOOKS in the Room Reference stacks in the Art Department to search for your subject in books of collected images or indexes to specific images in books or magazines. Look for:

  • The Bettman Portable Archive 702 B565
  • Illustration Indexes 702 I
  • The Encyclopedia of World Art 703 E56
  • The Picture Dictionary 703 P5998
  • Graphic Design Books 741.4
  • Signs or Symbols Books 753
  • Picture Research 770.7 S386

USE THE CLIP ART COLLECTION in the Art Department Room Reference stacks to find published collections of public domain images designed to be reproduced.

USE THE PICTURE FILE in the Art Department to search by subject for clippings of images from magazines and books that may be checked-out. (Hint: Consult the alphabetical picture file index if you are not finding pictures on your subject.)

USE RESOURCE DIRECTORIES at the Art Department Reference Desk to find agencies and institutions that have image collections. Ask the Librarian for:

  • The Visual Resource Directory 703 V8345
  • The Stock Photo Desk Book 770.3 S8645
  • Directory of Photographic Collections 770.8 C153
  • Footage 791.02 F6875

USE THE PHOTO COLLECTION in the Library’s History Department to find historical images. Many images from the photo collection can be viewed online.

USE WEB RESOURCES from the LAPL list to find web sites that search for images.

Additional Web Sites

Image Databases

American Memory (part of the Library of Congress site)


Dedicated Image Search Engines


Copyright Office