Using image archives

Creator unknown. "Humzey Yessin". Photograph. Circa 1945-1949. University of Kentucky Basketball and Football Negatives, University of Kentucky.

Sometimes we want to illustrate our texts with something more interesting than what Google images gives us. Sure, Google can be a great brainstorming or exploratory tool, but what if we want something specific? Something local? Something from a particular decade? Or, what if we want one great, compelling historical image to base our writing around?

Online visual image archives provide catalogs of images with their original source cited (making it easy for us to cite, too.) These archives can be searched and browsed by keyword, subject matter, or date, and often contain information about the event or person photographed and the maker of the image. Not only are these images well documented, but they also are laden with multiple histories and inspire compelling ideas for one’s project.

Here’s a list of a few archives to get you started:

Library of Congress                                      LOC American Memory

LOC Digital Collections                               New York Public Library

National Parks Service

ALA Digital Collections Guide  Giant list of other online archives. Scroll down for a large menu of disciplines.

Kentuckiana Digital Library  Local!!

Prelinger Archives   Public domain moving images.

The Internet Archive

Moving Image Archive News  List of links to many archives of moving images. However, not all have films available online.

LOC collections with moving images

For a stylish PDF of this list, click the link below.

Image archives online

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