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January 06, 2009

Finding general images

Much of the time when you need an image, you aren't looking for something specific. What you really need to find is a general image like a photograph of a woman walking down the street in a sari or people around the table at a business meeting. When looking for a general image, it can be frustrating because you feel certain what you want must be out there. While you may not find exactly what you're looking for all of the time, here are some tips to help when doing a general image search.

-Try to narrow down the details of the image you want as much as possible. Do you want it to be historical or contemporary? Are you interested in an artistic image or a more journalistic one? Would the images be limited to a certain region? This will help you choose where to start looking.

-Use the advanced search. Try Boolean search methods to limit or expand your search. Also check the Library of Congress search tips page.

-Try using search engines if your image is not limited to a specific field. The Creative Commons is a good place to start because you can limit your search to royalty free images, but here is a list of other search engines that might be helpful.

As always, if you ever need help with an image search, please contact the staff of the VRC, who will be more than happy to help.

Posted by hthrlowe at January 6, 2009 02:00 PM

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