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Architecture Research Basics: Images

General Image Resources

Key Collections on Campus

School of Architecture's Visual Resources Collection: The Visual Resources Collection contains over 64,000 slides, 45,000 digital images and over 700 audio and video tapes. These collections are used primarily as a teaching resource and have been developed and expanded in connection with the curricular and the research needs of the faculty. Be sure to look through the School of Architecture's Online Digital Collection.

Visual Resources Collections, Department of Art & Archaoelogy: The department digital collections, available in Almagest and ARTstor, include more than 110,000 images in addition to the general collections found in these repositories (over 1,000,000 images are available in ARTstor). Digitized images may be used for teaching and research uses. The slide collection houses over 500,000 slides that form the basis of art history lectures by the faculty, as well as seminar presentations by students.

Digital Image Collections

Key Subscription-Based Resources  (Princeton Access Only)

ARTstorAn initiative of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ARTStor is a subscription-based digital image collection with more than 1,000,000 images in a wide variety of disciplinces including architecture, art, humanities, and the social sciences. Architecture specific collections include the Archivision Library Suite of images including architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, archaeology, art and art history images; Harthill Archive of Architecture and Allied ArtsQTVR Panoramas of World Architecture; Contemporary Architecture, Urban Design, and Public Art Collection; and the Museum of Modern Art: Architecture and Design collection.  ARTstor can also be crossed-searched with Princeton's "Institutional Collections."

Masters of Architecture: Affiliatiated with the Pidgeon Digital collection, these images come from the original collection of 58 slide sets which were published between the mid ‘80s and 2003 with new slides sets being added regulaly.

SAH Archipedia: Authoritative online encyclopedia of the built world published by the Society of Architectural Historians and the University of Virginia Press.  It contains histories, photographs, and maps for 8,500+ structures and places within the United States. Though consisting of mostly buildings, one can find landscapes, infrastructure, monuments, artwork, and more. The content is drawn from the award-winning book series, Buildings of the United States, and includes histories and thematic essays from 12 of the published BUS volumes. The resource is still growing and is slated to include approximately 100 building entries from all BUS volumes.

CAMIO (Catalog of Art Museum Images Online) Online collection documenting more than 115,000 works of art from around the world. Images, text and multimedia represent a broad range of works of art from the collections of the members of the Art Museum Image Consortium. Includes many archtiecture-related images.

AP Photo Archive (AccuNet/AP Multimedia Archive) contains two photo databases, an international photo archive and a Euro/Asian photo archive, as well as a graphics' database. Very useful for current images.

Oxford Art Online: The collective resource of Grove Art Online and other Oxford databases with links to images from the articles.

The Bridgeman Art Library contains images from over eight thousand collections and twenty nine thousand artists. They represent museums, galleries and artists throughout the world by providing a central source of fine art for image users. A similar service is offered by Art Resource.

Additional Resources

A.D. White Architectural Photographs 13,000 nineteenth and early twentieth century photographs of architecture, sculpture and decorative arts. The collection was first established by White, who served as president of Cornell University.

ArchNet Digital Library Online resource for ArchNet, an online community devoted to the study of Islamic architecture, art, and culture.

Arounder -- Travel in 360-degree Quicktime 360-degree Quicktime panoramic views of monuments in many European and some American cities.

ArtServe, Australian National University This site provides thousands of images (including panoramas) of art and architecture, primarily of the Mediterranean Basin and Japan. Many other countries are represented as well.

Asian Historical Architecture A database of nearly 20,000 images of Asian architecture compiled by contributors. Check copyright information with each image for use rights.

Athenian Agora Archaeological Excavations Guide Site with Agora monuments marked and quick-time video of many of the monuments.

Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur (Image Index for Art & Architecture) Images and data for nearly 2 million pictures of art and architectural monuments from 13 European countries. The index includes the Marburg Index

Canadian Architecture Archives ImageBank Images of works by Canadian architects.

Chartres: Cathedral of Notre Dame A collection of over 3,000 images of Chartres Cathedral, including stained glass, sculpture, structure, and views.

Cities Around the World A database of over 6,000 digital images representing over 450 cities from the photographic collections of Harrison Forman and Harold Mayer.

CLAROS CLAROS provides simultaneous searching of major university and museum collections for images of ancient Greek and Roman art.

Digital Imaging Project (Mary Ann Sullivan) Images of architecture from around the world -- provided by Prof. Sullivan, Bluffton College

Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust Digital Image Collection The Digital Image Collection documents many of Wright's early buildings in the Chicago area. Featured are the Wright home and studio, Robie House, and other Chicago area houses.

Housing Prototypes Browseable and searchable database of multi-family housing types with photographs.

Images of England Over 300,000 images of England's built heritage, including buildings, bridges, churches, gravestones, lampposts, etc.

Imago Urbis: Giuseppe Vasi's Grand Tour of Rome An interactive database combining Vasi's views of Rome and Nolli's map of Rome to give a comprehensive and phenomenal view of 18th century Rome.

Machiel Kiel Photographic Archive of Ottoman Architecture of the Balkans Approximately 1300 images of Ottoman-Islamic architectural monuments in Southeast-Europe. Additional images will be added. Sponsored by the Netherlands Institute in Turkey (NIT).

Mapping Gothic France Images and information about built monuments of 12th and 13th century France.

Metis Quicktime Video of many ancient Greek sites.

Pastscape Access to records and images of English archaeological, architectural, and martime heritage.

Pedestrian Bike Information Center Image Bank Free images relating to walking and biking. The site is sponsored by the PBIC at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. A searchable database with images and statistics to over 80,000 high-rise buildings from around the world. (The images may not be downloaded.

Spatial Agency Though not purely an image database, Spatial Agency features many images of architecture. One can search or browse various architectural movements and firms of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Vitruvio A searchable database of historical and contemporary architecture as well as architectural forums and resources

World Images A database of over 50,000 images including many areas of imagery (art, architecture, science, etc.).

World-Architects Profiles of contemporary architects. Searchable by country or by name.

Freely Accessible Collections

Library of Congress American Memory Project: A gateway to 9 million digitized items organized into 100 thematic collections from the Library of Congress’s vast resources that document U.S. history and culture. Original formats include manuscripts, prints, photographs, posters, maps, sound recordings, motion pictures, books, pamphlets, and sheet music. Of particular interest to architecture are the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) collections.

Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog: The Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) provides access through group or item records to about 75% of the Division's holdings, as well as to some images found in other units of the Library of Congress. Many of the catalog records are accompanied by digital images--about 1.2 million digital images in all. Paper finding aids, card catalogs, and browsing files of pictures available on site cover many of the remaining collections.

OAIster Database: OAIster is a union catalog of millions of records representing open archive resources that was built by harvesting from open archive collections worldwide using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Today, OAIster boasts more than 23 million records representing digital resources from more than 1,100 contributors.

Visual Collections: Over 300,000 images from museums, universities and private collections can be found through this site which uses LUNA Insight as its viewer. LUNA Commons is another website that contains many of these collections, but that also offers users tools to create groups of images and share content. Includes a few small collections of architecture images.

New York Public Library Digital Gallery NYPL Digital Gallery offers thousands of digital images of drawings, illuminated manuscripts, maps, photographs, posters, prints, rare illustrated books, and more. Collections cover artworks and objects, creators, dance, design, furniture, motion pictures, music, ornament, performance, spectacle, theatre, advertising, book binding, dust jackets, friendship books, menus, post cards, posters, trade and greeting cards. Collections include Bernice Abbott's WPA Changing New York photographs, "Classic 6:" New York City Apartment Building Living 1880s-1910s, Metropolis: New York City Water and Transit Infrastructure in Photographs, and many more.

NYC Municipal Archives Online Gallery The Gallery features over 800,000 items digitized from the Municipal Archives’ vast holdings, including photographs, maps, motion-pictures and audio recordings spanning a 160-year period. Browsing the Collection by subject provides a useful overview of what is included.

Flickr Commons More and more cultural heritage institutions are contributing digital images to Flickr.  The Smithsonian, Brooklyn Museum, the Getty, and Library of Congress are just a few of them.

British Library Images Online: Provides access to the British Library's greatest images from their vast collections with the option to license hi-res images for commercial purposes.  Images for educational use are available at 500 pixels (about a half of a projector screen resolution).

Courtauld Institute of Art: Art and Architecture A collection of more than 40,000 images, mostly black and white, drawn from resources at the Courtauld Institute, University of London.

Institute of Museums and Library Services Digital Collections: Gateway to the digital collections that were funded by IMLS grants.  Contains information and links to about 200 digital image collections.

Creative Commons: This is nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. Provide free  licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.