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Finding Images

A guide to searching and locating images.

Historical & Archives - Websites


Public Record Office Victoria holds the archives of the State Government of Victoria covering the period of early European settlement of the Port Phillip district from the mid-1830s to the present day.  They have online exhibitions highlighting important items within the collection

State Library of Victoria holds a collection of digitised pictures and images of biographical, cultural, environmental, historical, sociological and topographical images relating to Victoria.

Discovery Centre  Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks, Immigration Museum and Royal Exhibition Building; includes some online exhibitions


National Archives of Australia holds the archives of the Australian Government since Federation in 1901. PhotoSearch allows you to search a collection of digitised photographs from their collection. 

Trove (including Picture Australia). Search photographs, negatives, artworks, drawings, posters, postcards and other pictures, as well as physical objects such as puzzles, instruments and clothing

The National Library of Australia's Digital Collections site provides access to images including books, journals, maps, music, pictures, manuscripts and oral histories

Chinese-Australian Historical Images in Australia (CHIA) is a catalogue of historical images of Chinese, Chinese immigrants and their descendants held in Australia

New Zealand

Whakamīharo Lindauer Online This site, part of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki website, features Gottfried Lindauer's historic portraits of Maori from the late 1800s and paintings from public collections


Collage  Images from the Guildhall Library and the Guildhall Art Gallery, London. Categories include archaeology, architecture, history, abstract ideas, leisure, military and war, natural world, politics, religion and belief, society and trade and industry

Historic Photographs (British Library) provides access to a selection of images from the Library's collections including a searchable Catalogue of Photographically Illustrated Books

VADS (Visual Arts Data Service) is an online resource of visual art collections with particular strengths in fashion and design

London Transport Museum:Includes an Online Museum, access to posters, photographs, film

Science and Society Picture Library  Representing the visual collections of the Science Museum, Media Museum and Railway Museum in London.

Virtual Mitchell Library The collection focus is Glasgow, its buildings, streets and people. Most of the photographs come from Archives and Special Collections of the Mitchell Library.

North America

Time and Life Pictures A website that includes a photo gallery of images taken for the Time/Life magazine

Maynard L. Parker collection Photographic archives The Maynard L. Parker collection consists of approximately 58,000 negatives, transparencies, and photographs, office records and business correspondence related to a wide range of American architects, publishers, and designers of the postwar era

Walter Gordon Collection of Photographs  Part of the UCLA  library digital collections, it is made up of photographs that were featured in the African American newspaper, the California Edge and depict leading members of the Black community in Los Angeles.  Includes Val Verde, local political figures, and a range of jazz legends, such as Count Basie and Billie Holliday

Galaxy of Images (Smithsonian Institution Libraries)  searches printed books and manuscripts in the collections of Smithsonian Institution Libraries.  The images available on this site represent a broad cross-section of the Libraries' collections

Life Photo Archive Search through historic photographs from the LIFE photo archive.

New York Public Library Digital Gallery: images from the collections of the New York Public Library. Included are illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, etc.

Newspapers Pictorials: World War I Rotogravures (Library of Congress)  this collection tracks American sentiment about the war in Europe, week by week, before and after the United States became involved. Events of the war are detailed alongside society news and advertisements touting products of the day, creating a pictorial record of both the war effort and life at home.

America from the Great Depression to World War 2 (Library of Congress) are among the most famous documentary photographs ever produced, emphasizing rural life and the negative impact of the Great Depression, farm mechanization, and the Dust Bowl.  In later years, the photographers turned their attention to the mobilization effort for World War II.

Architecture and Interior Design for 20th Century America (Library of Congress) focuses primarily on architectural subjects, including interiors and exteriors of homes, stores, offices, factories, historic buildings, and other structures.

Frick Collection Photoarchive is a study collection of more than one million photographic reproductions of works of art from the fourth to the mid-twentieth century by artists trained in the Western tradition.

Images Canada provides central search access to the thousands of images held on the websites of participating Canadian cultural institutions.

Asia & Middle East

Japanese Old Photographs (Nagasaki University) is the largest collection of old photographs, taken all over Japan from the Bakumatsu through to the Meiji period.


Retronaut  Strange, Unusual, eclectic.  Retronaut has it all. Search by category or era.

Art History Resources on the Web   includes listings of geographic and historical periods in art throughout the world. The web site has image links to slides, photographs, digital images, film, video.