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Urban Studies Research Guide: Images and Media

General Image and Media Resources

City-Specific Resources

Urban Studies Research Workshop - Handout

In the study of the built environment, it is important to shift your thinking about images from regarding images as illustrations to considering them as objects for investigation. 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, 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.

1. Where images are produced - image creators such as architects, artists, photographers, other creators

2. Where images are reproduced - publications and publishers such as journals, newspapers, books

3. Where images are collected - repositories such as archives, libraries, websites, museums, and other repositories

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.