In the study of the built environment, it is important to shift your thinking about images from regarding images as merely illustrations to considering them as objects for investigation and information in themselves. Images contain unique information that cannot be adequately communicated through other means, particularly in this avenue of study. Interrogate the images you look for and find, and carefully consider what each image communicates and the information that the image provides.
When searching for images and multimedia materials, it is important to consider your search terms and objectives in a similar manner as you would when searching for textual material. Once you have a sense of what you are looking for, you will have a better sense of where to look for images.
There are three general categories of places where you will find images and other multimedia material.
1. Where materials are produced - creators such as architects, artists, photographers, other creators
2. Where materials are reproduced - publications and publishers such as journals, newspapers, books
3. Where materials are collected - repositories such as archives, libraries, websites, museums, and other institutions
Many of these locations will overlap, and you will find that some of these locations will be more useful for you than others, depending on the focus of your research.
Remember: images and other media should be cited, just as you would cite books and other textual material. While specific style varies by citation style (Chicago, MLA, APA, et cetera) the basic needs remain the same: title, creator, source (i.e. website, if applicable), date of creation, date of access.
For example: Last name, First name Middle initial of creator of image. “Title of image” or Description. Digital Image. Title of Website. Month Day, Year Published. Accessed date. URL.