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Last Updated: Jul 17, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Image Databases Print Page

About This Guide

These are freely available recommended image databases on the Internet.

If you have suggestions concerning resources that could be added to this list, please feel free to

Image Databases

  • Art in the Christian Tradition
    A freely available, regularly updated visual image internet resource. Designed for scholars, students, pastors, and religious educators, all of the images may be used for educational and/or religious non-profit purposes. - From the Vanderbilt Divinity Library
  • British Library: Digitised Manuscripts
    "Use this website to view digitised copies of manuscripts and archives in the British Library’s collections, with descriptions of their contents. Explore the Library's latest major acquisition, the St Cuthbert Gospel. Some other highlights include the Harley Golden Gospels, Beowulf, the Silos Apocalypse, Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebook, the Petit Livre d’Amour and the Golf Book."
  • Cooperative Digital Resources Initiative
    A repository of digital resources contributed by American Theological Library Association and Association of Theological Schools member libraries made possible by the Henry Luce Foundation
  • Digital Scriptorium
    An image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts that unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research
  • Everett Ferguson Photo Collection (Early Christianity)  
    "Images include those of early Christian churches, basilicas and cathedrals as well as images of modern and ancient cities and archaeological sites in Israel, Turkey, Greece, ancient Rome, and throughout Europe. The objects photographed are from exhibits at the British Museum, the Ashmolean, the Louvre and other prominent museums of Europe and the Mediterranean countries."
  • Getty Images
    The Getty collection of images are now available for embedding for free. Good idea to read Brandom's article – especially the part about link rot – prior to checking out the site.
  • Internet Archive Book Images (Public Domain)  
    The Internet Archive processed more than 2 million volumes from its digital archive, compiling more than 14 million high resolution images spanning nearly every topic imaginable. Each image includes detailed descriptions, including the subject tags of the book it came from and the text immediately surrounding it on the page. The latter is especially powerful, as it allows to keyword search 500 years of images, instantly accessing particular topics or themes.
  • Metropolitan Museum: The Collection Online, digital images  
    "The Metropolitan Museum of Art has released a vast archive of 400,000 (mostly) hi-resolution digital images online that you can download and use for non-commercial purposes. From a 12-megapixel scan of Rembrandt's 1660 self-portrait to over 18,000 photos spanning almost two centuries." --Christopher Jobson
  • Metropolitan Museum Timeline of Art History
    A chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of the history of art from around the world, as illustrated by the Metropolitan Museum's collection made possible by the Heilbrunn Foundation, New Tamarind Foundation, and Zodiac Fund
  • US National Archives GIFs
    The official Giphy channel for the National Archives. For the official source of information about the National Archives, please visit To learn more about our social media policies, visit
  • World Digital Library: Religion  
    The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from all countries and cultures. Item types include books, journals, manuscripts, maps, motion pictures, newspapers, prints and photographs, and sound recordings.
  • Yale Divinity Library Digital Collections
    A faculty-library initiative from Yale University Divinity School Library that provides digital resources for teaching and research

Creative Commons Licensed Images

Creative Commons-licensed Images

Google Image Search allows filtering by Creative Commons (CC) license.

What is Creative Commons?

"Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs."


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