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Art History Research Guide

A guide to Library and web resources to begin your study and research in art history.


Be careful where you get your images. They are someone's intellectual property.

watermarked image

As a student...

You can use images from ARTstor and the VRC for the work that you turn in for school, or for your own inspiration and information.

You cannot post these images publicly online or distribute them. If you find an image that you want to use for a publication or to share outside of class, you must get the permission of the copyright holder.

To find images you can use for non-class (as well as class) purposes, use images found through the Open Access Guide.  

For more information:

Citing Images

Just like with your other sources, images need to be properly cited to give credit to their creator. Items obtained from the web or scanned from a print source should be attributed to the owner of the copyrighted work (unless they are marked as royalty-free).

As a general rule, the following elements are needed in the citation:

  • Artist's Name, if known
  • Title of Image
  • Title of the image, if known (if not, use a description)
  • Institution where held, if known.
  • Title of article or book (if applicable)
  • Author of article or book (if applicable)
  • Title and Date of magazine (if applicable)
  • Database name (if applicable)
  • Date of access if online or publication if originally from print material
  • URL (if applicable)

Examples in MLA


Image from a Library Database

Titled Image

Martin, Agnes. Morning. 1965. Painting. Tate Gallery, London. Oxford Reference,

Untitled Image

Massachusetts Historical Society. Seal of the society set in a landscape with ornaments. Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, vol. 17, 1879-1880, p. iii. JSTOR,


Image from a Print Source

Titled Image

Rousseau, Henri. The Ship in the Storm. 1896. Painting. Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris. Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris. By Claire Fresches, et al. National Gallery of Art, 2006. p. 232.

Untitled Image

Muybridge, Eadweard. Photograph of a horse running. 1887. National Gallery, London. Eadweard Muybridge: The Father of the Motion Picture. By Gordon Hendricks. Grossman, 1975. p. 202.

Examples from

Reading an Image

Reading an image