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Finding Images: Image Resources

Guide to finding images in MIT visual collections and online through large repositories of images appropriate for academic audiences

About this guide

Get tips for finding and using images for research and scholarship. Image sources on this site are grouped by subject and type: advertising and photography; art, architecture, and city planning; history, maps, and anthropology; science and medicine.

Image resources at MIT

Licensed and local image databases available from the MIT Libraries

Image Citing Templates

Below are examples in Chicago style citations by type.

blue book cover of the Chicago Manual of StyleInclude the artist’s name, title of work (italicized), date, medium, measurements, and the institution which houses the work.

Include the source the image came from, preceded by a statement which declares the source (for example “In;” or “Source:” or “Available from:”).  If the source is online, include the URL and the date accessed.

Image from a Book:

Alice Neel, Nancy and the Rubber Plant.  1975, Oil on canvas, 203.2 x 91.3 cm.  The Estate of Alice Neel.  From:  Ann Temkin et al.  Alice Neel.  New York:  Harry N. Abrams, 2000.  Plate 64.

Image from ARTstor:

Rogier van der Weyden, Saint Catherine of Alexandria.  1430-1432, Diptych panel, 18.5 x 12 cm.  Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.  Available from:  ARTstor, (accessed June 19, 2019).

Image from Museum Website:

Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi). The Musicians. Ca. 1595. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 46 5/8 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. From: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (accessed June 19, 2019).

Image from Flickr Commons:

Thomas Eakins, William Rudolf O’Donovan.  1981, Black and while photographic print, 6 x 8 cm.  Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.  Available from:  Flickr Commons, http:// (accessed June 19, 2019)

Image from Flickr (personal images uploaded by individuals)

Friedrich von Schmidt, Vienna Rathaus.  1872-1883. Source:  -keka-, Rathaus, Vienna.  2014.  Digital Image.  Available from:  Flickr, (accessed June 19, 2019)

Below are examples in MLA style citations by type.

Image reproduced from a printed source

Artist’s last name, first name. Title of art work, in italics. Date of art work. Medium.  Institution where art work is housed (if known), city where housed if not already named. Title of printed source, in italics. By Author of printed source. Place of publication: publisher, date. Page or plate/figure/slide number. Print.

Rousseau, Henri.  The Ship in the Storm.  1896.  Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris.  Henri Rousseau:  Jungles in Paris.  By Claire Fresches, et al.  Washington:  National Gallery of Art, 2006.  232.  Print.

Image from an electronic source:

Artist's last name, first name.  Title of Art Work in Italics.  Date of art work.  Institution where art work is housed (if known),  City where art work is housed (if not already named).  Database or website name.  Web.  Day month year accessed.

Image from ARTstor

Cassatt, Mary.  Denise at Her Dressing Table.  ca. 1908-09.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  ARTstor.  Web. 18 June 2019. <>.

Image found on the open Web

Citation includes: Artist. Title of Work. Date of Work. Museum or Collection, City. Database/Web Site. Date Accessed. URL (optional).

Backhuyzen, Ludolf.  A Battle at Sea.  1692.  J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA.  The Getty.  Web.  18 June 2019.

Image from a Library Database

If known, the collection which owns the image should be included, along with its location.

De Chirico, Giorgio.  Soothsayer’s Recompense.  1913.  Philadelphia (PA) Museum of Art.  Grove Art Online.  Web.  18 June 2019.

Work of Art viewed in person at a Museum 

Citation includes: Artist. Title of Work. Date of Work. Medium of Composition. Museum, City where Museum is located.

Atget, Jean-Eugène-Auguste.  Boulevard de Strasbourg (Corsets). 1912.  Photograph.  Art Institute of Chicago.

Goya, Francisco.  The Family of Charles IV.  1800.  Oil on Canvas.  Museo del Prado, Madrid.

Below are examples in APA style citations by type.

Images from a electronic source

Author (Role of Author). (Year image was created). Title of work [Type of work], Retrieved from URL (address of website)

Kulbis, M. (Photographer). (2006). Men pray [Photograph], Retrieved from

Note: If you can only find the screen name of an author (such as a photographer on Flickr), that will do as the author's name.

If the screen name is all lowercase, keep the name lowercase in the in-text citation and the references list.


Images from a electronic source (No Author, No Title, No Date)

Many images found on the Web are of this category, but you should still look for this missing information: try clicking on the image, and/or looking at the bottom of the image.

[Format and subject of work]. Retrieved from URL (address of website)

[Untitled photograph of a baby chimpanzee]. Retrieved from



The basics of a Reference List entry for an image:

  • Author or authors. The surname is followed by first initials.
  • Year.
  • Title (in italics).
  • Publisher.
  • Place of publication.


Millner, J & Moore, C 2018, Feminist perspectives on art: contemporary outtakes, Routledge, London.


Above is an example of the reference list entry where an image is cited in a book.

  • Include in the text: the artist, the title of the work and other identifying factors. Provide an in-text citation for where you saw the work. In the Reference List provide full details of where the work was cited.
  • If you have viewed a painting, street sculpture, building, fashion or other creative objects in-situ, (either in the street, a gallery or a parade), then use the examples on this page to cite your original artworks.


Below are citation examples by type in Harvard Referencing. 


Material Type In-text example Reference List Examples
Image from a book Gertsakis’s work, Their eyes will tell you, everything and nothing, 2017, in Millner and Moore (2018, p. 138)… Millner, J & Moore, C 2018, Feminist perspectives on art: contemporary outtakes, Routledge, London.
Image from Flickr This photo showing a panorama of Austrian mountains (Crazzolara 2018) is of high quality. Crazzolara, T 2018, Alpine panorama, image, Flickr, viewed 24 May 2018, <>.
Image from a webpage This photo contains many elements to plan a road trip (Kreisa 2018). Kreisa, M 2018, 60+ vital first words and phrases to learn in a new language, image, FluentU Travel, viewed 24 May 2018, <>.
Original artwork Jane Sutherland's masterly depiction of early morning light at the artist's camp in Box Hill was particularly admired in her painting The Mushroom Gatherers (1895). Sutherland, J 1895, The mushroom gatherers, Oil on canvas, 481x993 mm, Australian Collection, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.        

Original artwork

When you have viewed works in-situ

Is Damien Hirst’s painting Veil of love’s secrets (2017) reminiscent of Aboriginal artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s works?

Note: Below is an example of a citation of an original work viewed in a temporary exhibition.

In Wishing Well  Ektoras (2014) demonstrates.

Hirst, D 2017, Veil of love’s secrets, Oil on canvas, 144×108 inches, Gagosian Gallery, New York.
Ektoras, M 2014, Wishing well, Mono-print: Acrylic on rice paper, Exhibited at: Light & Shade exhibition, Beth Hulme Gallery & Studio, Melbourne, 15 May - 6 Jun 2015.
Table or figure from a book Look at the table ‘Density functions of the estimator of the location parameter μ depending on the hypothesis values μ = 0 and μ = 2, respectively' (Rasch & Schott 2018, Fig. 3.1, p. 81). Rasch, D, & Schott, D 2018, Mathematical statistics, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ.
Table or figure from an online source As the figures for 2016–17 show (AIHW, 2017, Table 3.6, p. 56)… Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017, Admitted patient care 2016–17 Australian hospital statistics, Health Services series no.84, AIHW, Canberra, viewed 24 May 2018, <>.
Creative Commons Image Look at the table ‘Density functions of the estimator of the location parameter μ depending on the hypothesis values μ = 0 and μ = 2, respectively' (Rasch & Schott 2018, Fig. 3.1, p. 81). Colli, MG 2009, Bilbao_6 Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, photograph, accessed January 2012, <>. CC BY 2.0

Architecture and Planning Librarian