January 10, 2014

Digital Image database: new features!

In addition to adding new content to our digital image database, we do work to improve the interface. The new year has brought a few new features:

- a better tool for viewing, zooming and resizing the image
- the ability to view the image and the metadata for the image side by side
- the addition of a "Share/Cite" drop-down from the upper menu bar, which allows you to grab an exact citation for the image as well as the appropriate bookmarkable link to the image
- an extensive Help page (available from the header of each page)

Check it out, and let us know ( imageworks@umich.edu ) of any more changes you'd like to see!

Posted by sgarrett at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2013

Housing Prototypes site

José Antonio Coderch
Las Cocheras, Barcelona, Spain 1968-1973
Image source: Roger Sherwood / HousingPrototypes.org

Are you researching housing projects by particular architects or in certain cities/countries? Or just curious about the possibilities for multi-unit housing? Check out the online resource HousingPrototypes.org. While currently limited to western Europe and a few other countries, the range of projects is impressive. Each project page provides summary information, a description, images, and reference works.

Silodam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2002
Image source: Roger Sherwood / HousingPrototypes.org

Here's the site's own description of its service:

"Welcome to the web site dedicated to the study of international multi-family housing. HousingPrototypes.org contains examples of housing designed by different architects in different historic periods, countries, and cities. Projects range in scale from single buildings to examples of large social housing projects containing thousands of dwellings. A typological guide provides for research by housing site and building organization. Each example is presented as an individual case study complete with building data and description, a critical analysis, bibliographic resources, photographic images, and drawings. The data is cross-indexed for easy searching by housing type, country, city, architect and date. Links in the text provide for further browsing. New examples are constantly being added to this collection. The site is designed for convenient browsing and all examples are downloadable using most web browsers."

Moller Architects
Viaduct Harbor, Auckland, New Zealand 2000-2004
Image source: Roger Sherwood / HousingPrototypes.org

Posted by sgarrett at 01:36 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2013

New Trove of Open Access images

Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (German, 1736-1783)
The Vexed Man, after 1770, Alabaster
Object: H: 39.4 x W: 27.3 x D: 26 cm (15 1/2 x 10 3/4 x 10 1/4 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Following the lead of countless other museums like the Rijksmuseum and London's Victoria and Albert, the The Getty Trust is now making most of their digital resources available without restriction. Images from the Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute will be provided at high resolution for download. A credit line "Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program" is requested.

To browse or search the initial release of 4,600 images from the Getty Museum, go here

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853 - 1890)
Irises, 1889, Oil on canvas
Unframed: 74.3 x 94.3 cm (29 1/4 x 37 1/8 in.)
Framed: 94.9 x 114.9 x 11.4 cm (37 3/8 x 45 1/4 x 4 1/2 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Helmet, 350 - 300 B.C., Bronze
Object (without cheek flaps): H: 27.9 x D: 20 x Circumference: 66.4 cm (11 x 7 7/8 x 26 1/8 in.)
Object (cheek flap, proper right): L: 13.3 x W: 8.3 cm (5 1/4 x 3 1/4 in.) Object (cheek flap, proper left): L: 13.3 x W: 18.7 cm (5 1/4 x 7 3/8 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Posted by sgarrett at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2013

NASA Image of the Day: Supermoon

Supermoon in Washington, Sunday, June 23, 2013
Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Source: NASA, Image of the Day Gallery

NASA's Multimedia page is a fabulous source for still images, videos, 3D models and images, podcasts and more. Their scope is the same as their mission: the entire universe!

Posted by sgarrett at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2013

Go Blue!

Michigan players including Tim Hardaway Jr., right, and Nik Stauskas (11) celebrate after defeating Syracuse in their NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game on Saturday, April 6, 2013, in Atlanta. Michigan won 61-56.
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Michigan Men's Basketball is playing for the National Championship Monday evening! To find photos of their recent tournament games - and even from their last appearance in the Final in 1993 - check out AP Images, our source for news photos across the globe!

Michigan's Mitch McGary (4) dunks the ball against Syracuse's Jerami Grant (3) and Syracuse's C.J. Fair (5) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game Saturday, April 6, 2013, in Atlanta.
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Michigan's Trey Burke, right, and Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. walk down the court during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game against Syracuse, Saturday, April 6, 2013, in Atlanta.
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Syracuse's Brandon Triche (20) charges into Michigan's Jordan Morgan (52) during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game Saturday, April 6, 2013, in Atlanta. Triche was called for charging.
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

And from 20 years ago:

Kentucky's Dale Brown, left, tries to cut off Michigan's Jalen Rose (5) during a national semi-final game at the Final Four in New Orleans, April 3, 1993
© AP Photo

Michigan's Fab Five from left, Jimmy King, Juwan Howard, Chris Webber, Jalen Rose and Ray Jackson pose in Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 31, 1991
© AP Photo

Posted by sgarrett at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2013

Machiel Kiel Photo Archive

The Netherlands Institute in Turkey is publishing the photo archive of a renowned scholar of Ottoman monuments in southeastern Europe. Machiel Kiel's images from the 1960s-1990s - slides, negatives, and photographs - are being digitized and made freely available, with appropriate credit to Kiel.

These records of the architectural heritage of the region are even more valuable given that many have since suffered in the ensuing time period. Currently online are monuments in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. Future additions will include monuments in Turkish Thrace and Christian monuments and mural painting from the Ottoman period.

Posted by sgarrett at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2013

ARTstor - new collection

Edouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, 1882
The Courtauld Gallery, London
© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
Image source: ARTstor

ARTstor, the immense digital image library subscribed to by our University Library, is always adding new collections to support research and teaching in the whole range of humanities, arts, and social sciences. The latest addition is that of the Courtauld Gallery: 500 of a projected 8,100 images of the museum's canonical works of western European art! We're displaying a few images from their collection; for more check this link. And remember, by logging in to ARTstor, you have access to amazing high-resolution images and their presentation software.

Marx Reichlich, Portrait of a Woman holding a Lily-of-the-Valley and a Pansy, 1510-1520
The Courtauld Gallery, London
© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
Image source: ARTstor

Agostino di Duccio, Virgin and Child, 1400-1499
The Courtauld Gallery, London
© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
Image source: ARTstor

Posted by sgarrett at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2012

Sculptures at the University : North Campus

Curious about the sculpture you see around you on campus? Check out President’s Advisory Committee on Public Art: The Collection! A number of these sculptures are also represented in our AAEL Digital Image Collection.

Dan Heikkinen, Wolverine 2001
© Renée Massarello
Source: AAEL Digital Image Collection

Heikkinen, Class of 1981, also created the wolverine sculpture in Crisler Arena.

Beverly Pepper, Triad Ritual 1993
Source: President’s Advisory Committee on Public Art: The Collection: North Campus

Artist Beverly Pepper designed the cast-iron forms to "stand like gods and goddesses against the sky."

Alice Aycock, Summaries of Arithmetic Through Dust, Including Writing Not Yet Printed
© Renée Massarello
Source: AAEL Digital Image Collection

Aycock's drawings for this work line the wall in the Duderstadt Center, just east of Mujo Café.

Posted by verdiyan at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2012

Rijks Studio!

One of the premier art museums of the world, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, has opened a digital collection of 125,000 of its works to all - ultra high-resolutions images with no limitations! Just sign up to make your own Rijksstudio, search, browse and collect images, then order prints or download to create your own works!

“With the launch of Rijks Studio, we are excited to share the extensive collection with art lovers around the world using the latest digital technology. We created Rijks Studio based on the belief that the collection of the Rijksmuseum belongs to us all. The collection inspires; we want to unleash the artist in everyone.” Taco Dibbits, director of the Rijksmuseum.

Posted by sgarrett at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

October 31, 2012


Johannes Vermeer,
Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, ca. 1662
Oil on canvas, 45.7 x 40.6 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889
Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Reproduction of any kind is prohibited without express written permission in advance from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Today is the 380th anniversary of the baptism of Johannes Vermeer (his actual birth date is unknown). The 17th century Dutch artist is renowned for his exquisite handling of color and light in his genre paintings and landscapes. Explore more about the artist and his work in the comprehensive website essential vermeer; more images are available on ARTstor, AAEL digital images, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Posted by sgarrett at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2012

Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection

Indiana University offers a collection of over 14,000 images spanning the years 1938-1969: the Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection. Cushman travelled across the United States and in several foreign countries, and his keen eye for the quotidian, the representative, and the surprisingly beautiful resulted in a remarkable set of images, valuable for their social documentation as well as their aesthetic. He was an early adopter of Kodachrome, and the color images from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s are particularly delightful. Browse or search by year, location, subject, genre, or keyword.

Click on the titles below to see some sample images:

Girl bathers and girl fisher
Promontory Point, Chicago, July 18, 1942
© Indiana University

Indiana Steel Co., Indiana Harbor>
East Chicago, Indiana, November 18, 1945
© Indiana University

Fire Alarm brings out Victoria, B.C. children
Victoria, British Columbia, September 17, 1938
© Indiana University

Posted by sgarrett at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2012

Wellcome Image Awards 2012

Caffeine crystals: False-colored scanning elctron micrograph
Credit: Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome Images

Wellcome Images database is a great source for medical and science images, with a particular strength in modern imaging techniques and historical images from the Wellcome Library collection.

In addition to the standard "search" and "advanced search" options, the site offers Galleries, Explore [themes] and Favourites to browse. A fascinating gallery to browse is the Wellcome Image Awards 2012, from which the photos illustrating this post are drawn.

All Wellcome images are available for download for personal, or academic use, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial version 2.0 license or Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial No-Derivatives version 2.0 license.

Connective tissue: False-coloured scanning electron micrograph of collagen/connective tissue removed from a human knee during arthroscopic surgery
Credit: Anne Weston, LRI, CRUK, Wellcome Images

Lavender leaf: False-colored scanning electron micrograph
Credit: Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome Images

All Wellcome images are available for download for personal, or academic use, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial version 2.0 license or Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial No-Derivatives version 2.0 license.

Posted by sgarrett at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2012

RIBA pix

Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Bankside, London, seen at dusk from across the Thames
© Pawel Libera / RIBA Library Photographs Collection

RIBApix offers a rich database of architecture images from the British Architectural Library at the Royal Institute of British Architects. Not just works from Great Britain, but images from a range of locations, time periods, and typologies are available for viewing and purchase. Search by artist, title, location, image date, etc. or just a quick search. The digital images do have a watermark unless purchased, but are still useful for research. And, if you would like the University Library to consider purchase of works not already represented in our database, drop us a note at imageworks@umich.edu .

Posted by sgarrett at 12:50 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2012

Images Research Guide

Chances are that if you're reading this post, you've reached a great resource for images: the Research Guide for Images! We've arranged resources according to subject matter - just click on the tabs to see an extended list, and click on those links to go directly to the databases.

Any questions? Need more help? Contact us at imageworks@umich.edu!

Posted by sgarrett at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2012


"TinEye is a reverse image search engine. You can submit an image to TinEye to find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or to find higher resolution versions.

TinEye is the first image search engine on the web to use image identification technology rather than keywords, metadata or watermarks. It is free to use for non-commercial searching.

To date, TinEye has indexed 2,179,931,696 images from the web to help you find what you're looking for."

via TinEye

Posted by verdiyan at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

August 02, 2012

New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery

Grand Central Station, ca 1935-1941
Courtesy NYC Municipal Archives

New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery is the city’s first ever online image database. It consists of over 870,000 photos covering 160 years of New York City history and subjects include daily life, landmarks, construction, crime scenes and more. In addition to photographs users are also able to access maps, moving images, and audio recordings.

Taken mostly by anonymous municipal workers, some of the images have appeared in publications but most were accessible only by visiting the archive offices in lower Manhattan over the past few years.

Posted by verdiyan at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

Ralph Lavers, Torch, 1947
Cast hiduminium and perforated steel
Weight: 0.8 kg, Height: 47 cm with burner, Diameter: 22.6 cm
©Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Source: Victoria and Albert Museum Image Collections

The Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games is Friday, July 27. The dramatic high point of the ceremony in recent years has been the lighting of the cauldron with the Olympic torch. We'll celebrate this event with a few examples of the Olympic torch from our image databases:

Diego Rivera, Mosaics [detail] on Olympic Stadium, Mexico City, ca. 1956
© Scott Gilchrist, Archivision
Source: Archivision Architectural Images

The Olympic flame is brought from the Berlin stadium to Gruenau, August 1, 1936
© Associated Press
Source: AP Images

Chinese gymnast Li Ling carrying the torch during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, August 8, 2008
Source: Tim Hipps, U.S. Army [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted by sgarrett at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2012

Scandinavian Art: Prehistory to Medieval

Gold Cups, Scandinavian Bronze Age
Source: California State University Scandinavia database

If you’re interested in Vikings and Scandinavia is your specialty, or if you’re just curious about the early eras of Scandinavian art and culture, the California State University Scandinavia database is the resource you’re looking for. From Paleolithic tools to medieval objects of gold and silver, these images provide a great range of Scandinavian art and culture of the era. Check it out today!

Posted by rmassare at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2012

Sikorsky helicopters

Vought-Sikorsky XR-4C, 1942
Sikorsky Aircraft Company
Image © Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Igor Sikorsky, the brilliant aviation designer and founder of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, was born on this day in 1889. Originally from Kiev, he emigrated to the United States in 1919. He set the standard for helicopers in 1942 with the XR-4, the world's first mass-production single-rotor helicopter. The XR-4 helicopter pictured above was used by the Army Air Corps in World War II and is now in the collection of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The Washington, D.C. museum has a fine collection of Sikorsky aircraft, as well as myriad other avation and space objects, and some are represented in their online image gallery.

Posted by sgarrett at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2012

Movie Car Database

Still Image from GoldenEye, 1995
Source: Internet Movie Car Database

Searching for photos of your favorite car, need some images of high action chase scenes, or wondering what that car was in the last movie you saw? Check out Internet Movie Car Database, where you can search for around 383,995 different cars by manufacturer, movie, TV show or even cartoon. Real car buffs can participate in helping name unknown cars from various movies by checking out the unidentified section with film stills of mystery cars.

Posted by rmassare at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2012

Detroit Institute of Art online images

The Detroit Institute of Arts is one of the world's premier art museums, and just a short trip from here. But you may still want to browse the collection from your own computer from school or home. Two options exist for viewing the portion of their collection which has been presented online.

You can search the collection on the DIA's own website.
Searching, for example, John Stanley Mix's Indian Telegraph (1860), results in the following:

Rolling your cursor over the image functions as a magnifying glass, giving great detail.

ARTstor also has over 1,500 images from the collection:

Selecting an image yields a separate window containing image with high zoom. Since ARTstor is a subscription database, you will need to log in with your University of Michigan password to download these images and to take advantage of other tools offered.

For futher assistance finding images, contact us at imageworks@umich.edu

Posted by sgarrett at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2012

"Endangered Library Negatives of Works of Art in Private Collections"

William Barraud, A Piebald Hackney, 1838
Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 inches
Source: Frick Photoarchive, digital image 52282

Searching in vain for a painting by a now-obscure artist? One new place to check is the Frick Collection's digital image archive:

"Early in its history, The Frick Art Reference Library sponsored photographic expeditions throughout the United States as well as in Europe to document works of art not previously photographed, gaining entry to collections few researchers had any hope of seeing. The 57,000 large-format negatives that comprise this collection are, for the most part, unique visual records of lesser-known and previously unpublished works of art. The most substantial section of the collection is composed of negatives from the American campaigns. Between 1922 and 1967, Frick staff photographers conducted field trips to document works of art, primarily early American portraits, in American collections."

The current location of the painting shown above is unknown. But go to the Frick's site, and you may study the high-resolution copy of the library's negative. A "magnifying glass" feature allows you to see details of the image. And, clicking on "go to full library record" provides more information about the painting, including provenance and other bibliographic sources. Kudos to the Frick and its supporters, the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Henry Luce Foundation, for providing this resource.

Posted by sgarrett at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2012


We're always on the lookout for free image sites, and here's a fine one: morgueFile !

* Huge range of hi-res images, searchable by keyword or categories, with a generous use license
* "Request for Photo" service - to which you can also submit yours and earn a fee
* Classroom with tutorials on photography
* Blog with entries on photography news and a great "Guess the Photo" contest

A couple more free images - just click on the image to go to its source on morgueFile!

Posted by sgarrett at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2012

Amsterdam Rijksmuseum Online

Caspar Netscher, Portrait of an unknown young woman, 1649 - 1684
Source: Rijksmuseum API Collection

Rijksmuseum API Collection

Search over 100,000 works of art for some of the finest examples of the Rijksmuseum’s collection. You can search by keyword or by a number of subject categories such as Religion and Magic, Abstract Art, Literature and Classical Mythology. These high quality images help provide a great sense of the breadth and wealth of the Rijksmuseum and are great for studying works of art in detail. With numerous paintings, drawings and prints that include everything from portraits to pastoral scenes all under a Creative Commons license, this collection is worth a look!

Posted by rmassare at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2012

Welcome to Winter Semester!

The Diag, flagpole, and professors' monument, January 3, 1914 [?]
Source: Bentley Image Bank, Bentley Historical Library

Winter is here, though we don't have as much snow today as they did 98 years ago!

Find more old photos of UM's campus, students, athletes, and activities in the Bentley Historical Library's image bank.

Check out the Images Research Guide for help finding images for your research, papers, and presentations.

And, stop by Imageworks for a wide selection of DVDs covering the arts and engineering, project tools (scanner, paper cutter, stapler, pens, etc), and personal assistance with finding images.

Best of luck in the new semester!

Posted by sgarrett at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)

November 28, 2011


Europeana is a cultural database featuring Europe’s conservation efforts for everything from art to science and to make these digital resources available to a wide audience. Musical scores by Mozart and Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle are among the many things to discover at Europeana. The site also includes virtual exhibitions that include Eastern European wedding traditions, Art Nouveau, and Yiddish Theatre in London. These exhibits incorporate sound recordings, photos and memoirs to provide a detailed sensory experience. Search for information by exhibitions, new content, provider, timeline or featured search today to discover some of Europe’s vast cultural treasures.

Posted by rmassare at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2011

The Color Of

Find the color of just about anything you can think of, from your own name to the color of spring. Simply type in a word and The Color Of searches and finds colors from around 50 different photos to create a unique color for each word. Created by designer Fung Kwok Pan, it is truly a distinctive and fun way to visualize your world in color!

Posted by rmassare at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2011

Images from the Walters Art Museum

Need a great art image for a class project? The Walters Art Museum of Baltimore now offers 10,000 free images from their collection, many of which are works not on display in the museum. The images are all in the public domain for anyone to use for non-commercial purposes, and you can also tag and create your own image collection through Facebook. They offer a wide range of artworks from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Ancient Americas, including sculpture, arms and armor, painting, jewelry, and manuscripts. Search for specific artworks or browse their collection to find surprising and exciting works within the Walters Art Museum!

Posted by rmassare at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2011

Papyrology Collection

Table of Fractions and Arithmetical Problems, (Early) 2nd century CE
Papyrology Collection, University of Michigan
© The Regents of the University of Michigan
Source: Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS), MLibrary Images

Featuring a wide range of papyrus documents, the University of Michigan’s world-famous Papyrology Collection was begun from Francis Kelsey’s excavations at Karanis, Egypt in the 1920s and 1930s. This collection now contains around 12,000 pieces, of which 1500 have been studied in detail to date. Many examples of the University's collection are available digitally online, via the Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS).

On exhibit now in the Papyrology Collection's physical location (807 Hatcher Graduate Library South) are select examples that have been chosen to demonstrate the breadth of this collection. The oldest item is a sheet from The Book of the Dead, dating from the 11th century BCE, in the New Kingdom period. Also displayed are "recycled" papyrus sheets including a mummy cartonnage painting of Isis and foot wrappings. These sheets, like many others, once served as tax documents or other government forms and were re-used for mummy wrappings (as papyrus was cheaper than linen), at times stuccoed and painted over. Other documents include a birth certificate for a Roman citizen, a sheet from Homer’s Iliad, and a letter from a Roman fleet recruit to his mother. For more information check out the Learning About Papyrology section, which includes how papyrus is made and fun games like Papyrus Puzzles. For a fascinating review of the excavation and conservation of papyri, Leyla Lau-Lamb provides detailed presentations of the techniques she employs to bring illegible and curled up papyrus sheets to a flat and legible state on her website.

Posted by rmassare at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2011


Old library interior [Haven Hall] ca. 1877
Source: Bentley Image Bank, Bentley Historical Library

The University Library has changed a bit since these fellows matriculated!

One of the "modern" resources is Imageworks, the producer of this blog. We're your source for digital images, DVDs, viewing stations, scanners, and project tools (paper cutters, pens, rulers, etc.) Stop by for help finding and using images for your research, papers, and presentations. Check out our videos covering art, architecture, engineering, performance, urban planning, and more.

Find Imageworks on the 2nd floor of the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library, just east of the Reserves Desk. Online you'll find this blog, our video database, and a very useful Images Research Guide. Questions? Email us at imageworks@umich.edu

Best wishes for the new semester!

Posted by sgarrett at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2011


Cumulonimbus Cloud Over Africa
"High above the African continent, tall, dense cumulonimbus clouds, meaning 'column rain' in Latin, are the result of atmospheric instability. The clouds can form alone, in clusters, or along a cold front in a squall line. The high energy of these storms is associated with heavy precipitation, lightning, high wind speeds and tornadoes."
Image credit: NASA

Warmer temperatures incline more of us to gaze at the clouds in the sky. How do we find what those clouds mean, and what they are called? As ever, NASA is a great resource for clouds. Search their image gallery for more photos.

You could also check out one of the Corel CDs in Imageworks' collection: Clouds. Each Corel CD has 100 high-resolution, royalty-free (but not copyright-free) images, covering a myriad of subjects. A few images from Clouds:

Nimbus clouds
Copyright © 2011 Imageworks and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Chinook clouds (stratus)
Copyright © 2011 Imageworks and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Posted by sgarrett at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2011


Marlin Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida
The Art Deco Architecture Site

The photographer Randy Juster shares his interests and work with Art Deco on his website Decopix. His galleries contain over 700 images of Art Deco art and architecture, along with an overview of the origins and boom of Art Deco. Documenting the wealth and elaborate nature of this art movement are Juster's photographs covering buildings, glass, woodwork, and murals with excellent photos of minute architectural details. Further sections are devoted to color schemes, demolished Art Deco buildings and Lawson Clocks, providing a varied and valuable image resource of the Art Deco movement.

Posted by rmassare at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2011

Art Project

Recently launched by Google, Art Project brings famous works of art with stunning image quality directly to you. Using floor plans and 360° views, navigate your way through art galleries around the world from the Palace of Versailles to the MoMA. You can choose to “Explore the Museum” or to examine individual works with amazing zoom abilities that allow you to perceive the thick application of paint on Van Gogh’s The Bedroom or the fine details of Holbein’s The Ambassadors. Find information on artists and paintings, and sign in with your google account to create and share your own artwork collections complete with details and notes.

See behind the scenes footage of the Art Project:

Posted by rmassare at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2011

New location!

Tuley High School, Chicago, Illinois
1974, Mies van der Rohe Office
© Edward Olencki

The VRC has moved! Still under construction, but open. We are now on the 2nd floor of the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library, in the corridor on the east side of the reserves desk (former site of the Computer and Video Game Arcade).

Our video collection is accessible for viewing and borrowing. VHS and DVD viewing stations, paper cutters, and expert advice are also available now. All computer work stations, flatbed scanner, and the slide scanner should be up and running next week, January 10.

Our Winter Semester hours are Monday-Friday, 10-5 pm. See you soon!

To find more images like the one above, search the AAEL Digital Image database with keyword "construction".

Posted by sgarrett at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2010


If you have not already done so, now it is time to use Google for fun! Try Montage-a-google and see what kind of cool photos will pop up in your montage. When you enter a search term, Google finds twenty images and arranges them in a grid. You can see photo details by placing mouse over the image, click on it and it will take you to the image website.

The image above is a cropped version of "Montage-google" for the search term
www.lib.umich.edu/visual-resources-center ; the full image appears below:

Have even more fun, play Guess-the-google!

Posted by verdiyan at 01:20 AM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2010

Ann Arbor in AADL Digital Gallery

Trolley at Main & Washington
Image courtesy of University of Michigan's Bentley Historical Library

Twenty-five years ago Grace Shackman began to document the history of Ann Arbor's buildings, events, and people in the Ann Arbor Observer.

She has written about Schwaben Halle, Ann Arbor's trolly car line and the early movie theaters. Now you can search a rich selection of over 130 of Grace's articles or browse by topic right from the Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now, presented by the Ann Arbor District Library and the Ann Arbor Observer. You can also view an accompanying image gallery.

And there is more at Ann Arbor District Library local history page.

Here are some of the links:

Ann Arbor Architecture Archive


The Ford Gallery of Ann Arbor Founders

AADL Image Gallery

Here is an article "to stir some memories" from AnnArbor.com.

A photo of Drake's Sandwich Shop on North University Avenue, believed to be taken in the 1930s.
Photo from the papers of Sam Sturgis, in the Image Bank at the University of Michigan's Bentley Historical Library

The former Drake's Sandwich Shop site is still serving food, though now it's as part of the Bruegger's chain.
Image by Angela Cesere | AnnArbor.com

via Ann Arbor District Library

Posted by verdiyan at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2010

WSU Digital Collections

University of Michigan, Lantern Night, 1930s

"Wayne State University Libraries collaborate with many educational organizations and institutions to ensure that the history of Michigan is preserved and accessed in a digital format. Over 50,000 images and texts celebrate Detroit's contributions to the arts, fashion, history, architecture, interior design and medicine. Equipped with the ability to search, browse and generate presentations, WSU Digital Collections are ideal for research and rich-classroom instruction in a wide range of disciplines."

University of Michigan, Engineering Classrom, 1940s

University of Michigan, Stadium, 1920s

Ann Arbor, City Hall, 1910

Ann Arbor, Main Street, 1910

Here are some of the collections:

WSU Virtual Motor City Collection (Detroit News)

Changing Face of the Auto Industry

The Henry Ford Costume Collection

WPA Music Manuscripts

Posted by verdiyan at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2009

Historical Maps on the Web

Finding high resolution images of historical maps can be challenging. Check out the University of Michigan Map Library listing of historical map websites.

The University of Texas, Austin, Map Library has a particularly rich site.

Posted by rpw at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2009

Google Image Labeler

Google Image Labeler is a game in which you get an online partner who labels/tags the image along with you and both of you get points, depending on the specific labels you provide. The idea is that if two people come up with the same label, it is probably a good one and will make Google’s image search better.

"Each user who wants to participate will be paired randomly with a partner who's currently online and also using Google Image Labeler. Over a 90-second period, both participants will be shown the same set of images and asked to label each image based on what they see. They'll also be shown words that can't be used as labels. Both participants can add as many labels as they want until one of them matches a partner's label. After there's a match, they'll see a new image and continue the cycle, until time runs out. Contributors will also see points they've earned throughout the session."

via elliottback.com

Posted by verdiyan at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2009

Image of the Day: Andromeda in Ultraviolet

A delightful way to expand your image horizons is to subscribe to some of the many institutional "images of the day". NASA has a particularly rich image site, and most of their resources are not under copyright.

Other "images of the day" can be found at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Wikimedia Commons, National Geographic, and The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

The following is NASA's description of the image illustrated above:

"In a break from its usual task of searching for distant cosmic explosions, NASA's Swift satellite acquired the highest-resolution view of a neighboring spiral galaxy ever attained in the ultraviolet. The galaxy, known as M31 in the constellation Andromeda, is the largest and closest spiral galaxy to our own. This mosaic of M31 merges 330 individual images taken by Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope. The image shows a region 200,000 light-years wide and 100,000 light-years high (100 arcminutes by 50 arcminutes)."

Image Credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler (GSFC) and Erin Grand (UMCP)

Posted by sgarrett at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

October 08, 2009

Look for the Sky with SkyFinder

Last August at SIGGRAPH, an international conference on computer graphics, a group presented an innovative system designed to analyze images of the sky. The SkyFinder (link opens .pdf file) system automatically extracts a set of sky attributes—such as category, layout, richness, horizon, or sun position—from each image in a collection. This enables users to search the collection interactively at the semantic level using text queries, like “a landscape at sunset with the sun at the bottom left”.

via Technology Review

Posted by verdiyan at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2009


It's not an uncommon site in studios, from graphic design to painting and architecture, to see idea boards with dozens of magazine clippings, photocopies and drawings. What if you could have a digital image idea board as well? Vi.sualize.us is just that. Similar to the popular bookmarking site Del.icio.us, you'll need to create an account, download a browser add on, and then you'll be ready to go. See an image you like, click it, tag it, and save it to Vi.sualize.us account. The site always saves the original context of the image too, so you'll never have to go searching for the website where you first found an image. Plus, you can browse others' collections of images that might become your own favorites, too, and if you want to share your finds with Facebook friends, Vi.sualize.us has an application for that.

Posted by hthrlowe at 12:09 PM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2009

U.S. Geological Survey

As you would expect, the U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library is a rich source for images of the American landscape and natural wonders. However, did you know the U.S.G.S. also archived portraits, images of pioneers, Native Americans and settlers? There are great gems like the series of photographs documenting how an Inuit tent is made. Best of all, the entire collection is public domain, so the images are free to be published, posted, and shared.

Click on the images for source information

Posted by hthrlowe at 02:17 PM | Comments (0)

July 02, 2009

Rem Koolhaas on CNN

The BBC recently aired an interview with the architect, Rem Koolhaas, entitled The Architect Planning for the Future. You can also find other interviews and specials relating to architecture by searching the CNN videos page, like this sample search here. You can watch the rest of the special here by clicking on the thumbnails beneath the main video.

Posted by hthrlowe at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2009

CoolIris for your iPhone

If you enjoy using CoolIris with your Firefox browser, you might be interested in their new iPhone app. Log in access to personal sites like Flickr, Picasa, and Twitter as well as greater customization have been added to the new app. To download for free, go to iTunes.

Posted by hthrlowe at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2009

CC Zero and Public Domain

If you're creating an image, music or other type of creative work that you wish to designate as copyright free, how do you do so? Creative Commons has a copyright designation called CC0 which allows you to mark even newly created work as part of the public domain. Public domain means that anyone can use, alter, and sell the image, film, or music in question. The Stanford University Library Copyright & Fair Use page gives a good explanation of what it means for something to be part of public domain.

Public domain materials can be a great source for adding visual materials to your blog or online courses. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether items are part of the public domain. Digital Inspiration has a post up about using Google, Yahoo, and other sites like Digg to find public domain works. Below are a few other links that might help you determine and find works belonging to the public domain:

Public Domain Flow Chart
Copyright Durations
Cornell listing of Copyright Terms
Creative Commons blog entry including links to Science Commons and more

Posted by hthrlowe at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2009


There's a new image search app called Facesærch. It uses Google's search API and hosted images to search only for faces. The tool works well for famous figures such as Le Corbusier or Picasso.

via Deep Focus

Posted by hthrlowe at 01:39 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2009


Glocal is a collaborative project operated out of the Techlab at the Surrey Art Gallery. Its aim is to examine the role of digital images in culture.

Out of this project have come several useful tools. Two such tools that are a hybrid of browsing and analyzing are Image Breeder and Similarity Maps. These tools use similarities within the visual or compositional structure of images to group and compare them. In addition to these comparative tools, Glocal has also been working to teach users about the technical and historical aspects of making photographs. The software toolkits allow you to turn your computer's camera into "an innovative photographic device" with time lapse, exposure, and diptych tools. You can utilize the similar techniques as Muybridge, Marey, and other early photographers without leaving your laptop.

[via Deep Focus]

Posted by hthrlowe at 01:07 PM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2009

KallOut Application and Plug-in

KallOut is a plug-in and application that makes searching easier. Highlight text, and a blue quote bubble icon will appear just above the phrase or word. If you click on this icon, you will be given a menu that allows you to search several different sites using that phrase. You can choose what type of search you'd like and which engine you'd like to use. For example, you can search a location in Google Maps, an artist in Flickr, a battle in Wikipedia, or a person on Facebook.

For PC users, you can download the full application which works with Word Documents, PDFs, and any webpage. For everyone else, you can download a plug-in for Firefox or Internet Explorer that works with text on webpages. It's a great way to get reference or background data without being distracted from your task at hand.

Posted by hthrlowe at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2009

Walker Art Center's Sculpture Garden in Process

The Walker Art Center has been in the process of restoring Claus Oldenburg & Coosje Van Bruggen's Spoonbridge and Cherry, and we thought we'd take a moment to highlight the event to show how social networking sites allow museums the chance to have a different kind of interaction with their patrons. Whether you follow the Walker Art Center on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, or Twitpic, you'd have the chance to get updates about lectures, parties, and happenings you might not hear about elsewhere. Many museums are jumping on board with the new technology, so look for links to "follow us" when browsing your favorite museum websites or search for them on your preferred social networks. You might just enjoy behind the scenes workings of museums and announcements like this or this.

All images from Walker Art Center's Flickr stream or Twitpic stream

Posted by hthrlowe at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2009

Image Spark

Have you ever wished you could share your favorite images from blogs, museums, and your own desktop with those in the online community? Now you can. Thanks to the Swiss Miss blog, we found Image Spark. The Image Spark community is similar to other bookmarking networks like Del.icio.us but focuses on images rather than individual webpages. You can download a Firefox plug-in that allows you to add images to your own library by right-clicking images and choosing Upload to Image Spark. The plug-in adds the url of the image, and you can add tags and a description.

You can group related images by using the mood board feature or browse other users' collections by exploring the community. Image Spark might just become your favorite idea board.

Posted by hthrlowe at 04:04 PM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2009


CoolIris is a browser plug-in that can be used for searching video and image content on the web. Many popular websites like YouTube, Flickr, and Google are CoolIris-enabled; you can find a listing here.
You can even scroll through images on your computer. The plug-in places the images or videos in a grid that can easily be scrolled through. It's a great way to find an image quickly.

You can also use CoolIris with University Images including the AAEL digital image library. To do so, enter the images with captions mode and click on the 'CI' link in the lower left-hand corner.

Posted by hthrlowe at 01:48 PM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2009

Slide Show wherever you go

A cool new website, 280 Slides, allows you to create and share slideshow presentations online. You can choose to upload a pre-made presentation or make the presentation on the web. 280 Slides interfaces easily with Flickr, Google Images, Youtube, and Vimeo to allow you to search and import images and videos from these sites while 280 Slides takes care of the coding. When you've finished you're presentation, you can download it as a powerpoint, open document or pdf. If you'd rather share your presentation, you have options. You can upload it directly to Slideshare, a Flickr-like website for slide shows, email it to a colleague, or embed it in a website. The perk of embedding the show is that every time you update the file, the embedded show will play the updated show.

Need help or want to find out more? Try the support page and the blog

Posted by hthrlowe at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

March 31, 2009

Color-coded Flickr Search

Ever find it difficult to find interesting photos on Flickr? A new tool from Ideé Labs allows you to search Flickr images by color combinations. Choose up to ten different colors with the Multicolr Search Lab tool, and get a grid of search results almost instantly. Before you use the images you find, make sure to check the copyright status in flickr so you know you have the right to alter, publish or share the images.

Posted by hthrlowe at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2009

American Institute of Architects on Google Earth

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) introduced a project called America's Favorite Architecture for their 150th anniversary in 2007. After polling over 2,000 of its members, the AIA produced a list of the 150 most beloved structures in America. You can scroll through the list on the project website by ranking, architect, title, or date.

In sticking with our Google theme from the previous post, if you'd like another way to interact with the structures on the list, you can use the America's Favorite Architecture layer in Google earth. All you have to do is type 'America's Favorite Architecture' into the 'fly to' search box. This will give you a list of the structures, and double-clicking on the title of the structure will "fly" you to that location. Many of the structures are rendered in 3D, so you can view all sides of the structure. You can also download 3D models using Google Earth itself or Google Sketchup.

Posted by hthrlowe at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2009

VRC Tutorials and YouTube Channel

Above is a tutorial on how to use the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library's Online Image Collection. We've posted it to the new Visual Resources Collection's YouTube Channel. There you can link to resources we've found useful like the Art21 videos and the Tate Modern's channel through our subscriptions. We'll also be highlighting videos we've found useful in our favorites section. Keep checking back because we'll be posting more tutorials, subscriptions and favorites from time to time.

Posted by hthrlowe at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2009

Finding Image Databases with SearchTools

Having trouble finding all the Image Databases that the Library subscribes to? Try a "database type" search in SearchTools.

Start here: http://searchtools.lib.umich.edu
Select "Find Databases" by Keyword.
Choose "Images" in the Type category and click on the Go button.

A globe beside the title indicates anyone can access the site. A lock indicates UofM access only.

Posted by rpw at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2009

Museum of Online Museums

Looking for something that doesn't fit neatly into a museum collection? Interested in vintage japanese robots? Or maybe you just want to peruse some images of boomboxes? Or maybe just want to see what a slide rule looks like?

The Museum of Online Museums is a listing of several different online resources. Some of them are standard like MoMA or the Rhode Island School of Design. Others are less well known but valuable like the National Portrait Gallery, and still others are obscure but might just suit your fancy. The list is a great place to check if you're having a hard time finding images in other resources. It helps fill in the gaps that some of the more academic sources might leave out. It's a great place to browse for ideas and new inspirations.

image: Mechagodzilla, Vintage Japanese Robots Collection, Wired photo © Richard Nichol

Posted by hthrlowe at 05:03 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2009


Sometimes, you may simply want to find an image relating to the day's events like the historic inauguration occurring today.

For starters you might want to try the Library of Congress's Today in History page. As part of the Library of Congress's American Memory Project, the Today in History page connects different images, documents and Memory Project Collections to the date. For today, January 20, you can find a link to the presidential inauguration collection, I Do Solemnly Swear..., see a manuscript of the poem Robert Frost read at Kennedy's inauguration, the inaugural addresses of past presidents and more.

For something more image based and contemporary, the AP Photo Archive homepage lists the top six categories for U.S. Domestic News, International News, Financial News, and Sports. At the time of this blog posting there were over 600 images relating to today's inauguration alone.

Image above: President Barack Obama, right, is congratulated by daughter Sasha, lower left, as first lady Michelle Obama looks on, Washington, DC © AP/Susan Walsh

Posted by hthrlowe at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2009

How to cite multimedia objects

Just like you need to cite articles and other text resources, you need to cite visual images as well. Below are links to guides on how to cite different multimedia resources:

Art Museum Image Consortium Guide to citing art work

Library of Congress Guide to citing photographs

Library of Congress guide to citing sound pieces

Library of Congress guide to citing films

Library of Congress guide to citing illustrations

Library of Congress guide to citing special presentation or interactive media within website

Library of Congress guide to citing entire website

The above image is part of the Citation Needed sticker phenomena. It stems from its use on the popular cooperative community-edited encyclopedia, Wikipedia where it occurs when another user believes that a statement in an article needs a citation. Now here's an example of the proper citation for the image (as a photograph):

Mechtley, Matt. Existential Nonsense [Citation Needed]. 2008. Citation Needed Series June 25, 2008. MMechtley Photos. Flickr. 19 Dec. 2008 http://flickr.com/photos/mmechtley/2610907673/

Because the image is licensed as Attribution-Share Alike (see post on Creative Commons licenses), it means we are allowed to post it on our blog as long as we give credit where credit is due.

Posted by hthrlowe at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2009

Quick Time Videos in ARTstor

Through a partnership with Columbia University's Department of Art History and Archeaology, ARTstor now offers Quick Time Virtual Reality images known by their acronym as QTVR. These virtual reality nodes allow the viewer to experience the architectural space in 360º. The Visual Media Center a division of the Art & Archeaology department has documented many important ancient, Renaissance and Baroque architectural sites as well as a handful of contemporary works. You can read more about the project on ARTstor's site, here.

To search for these images, you must go to the advanced search function. Type QTVR in the keyword box and make sure "in any field" is selected from the drop down menu. Once you have your search results, you must click on the link labeled QTVR beneath each thumbnail. Clicking on the thumbnail alone will give you the simple still frame picture. While there isn't a direct way to download the QTVR clips as there is with the images, you can link to the QTVR in presentations or use QuickTime Pro to download the virtual realty clip.

Image: Le Corbusier, Church of Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France © Columbia University Visual Media Center, photographed by Andrew Tallon

Posted by hthrlowe at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2009

University of Texas Map Collections

The University of Texas Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection is great resources for many kinds of maps. The UT website is split into convenient categories for browsing. You can choose by location and type of map. Another great asset are the links to outside references; the list ranges from Rand McNally road maps to West Nile Virus maps to the NASA earth observatory. One thing that separates them from many other map resources is that they also group maps according to topical interest.

And just in case you need a refresher, here's a guide to map citations from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Above: Gaza Crisis Map, original scale 1 mm=2.5km, BBC News, Jan. 13, 2008 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7812136.stm

Posted by hthrlowe at 04:11 PM | Comments (0)

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 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

December 09, 2008

Met Timeline of Art History

There are a lot of times where you might need to find an example of a style or art work from a period, and you aren't looking for a specific artwork. The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Timeline of Art History is a great basic resource for getting an overview of a specific part of art and architecture history.

The Timeline of Art History is generally a good starting point. If you're looking for an image with a certain type of style, but you don't really know any artist's names, you can find the style or period on the Timeline and use the information to search more specifically on other image databases such as ARTstor.

Posted by hthrlowe at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2008

Looking for images that don't fit in neat subject categories?

Try AP Images. AP Images provides 100's of 1,000s of images from newspapers, magazines, and online news sources. You can search in several news categories (national, international, sports, etc.). You might want to browse through some of their historical image groups (i.e., Man on the Moon, Jazz Greats, Early Computers, etc.).

When searching for images in AP Images, remember that you're searching through captions, so choose words that you might expect to find describing the image you're hoping to find. For example, if you don't find what you need with "tornado," try "funnel cloud." Remember to search common abbreviations in addition to words. For instance, searching for WTC New York will find different and additional images from a search for World Trade Center New York.

Posted by rpw at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)