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You can approach the search for images from many different angles: searching image databases, searching publications which may contain illustrations, and searching the full text of diaries and journals for graphic material. A vareity of online resources are available which provide access to historical images, manuscripts, and publications. Here is a selection of databases you may want to explore.
Aluka is an international, collaborative initiative to create an online digital library of scholarly resources from and about Africa, funded by the Mellon foundation and associated with JSTOR and ARTstor. The Aluka website includes high-quality scholarly materials contributed by Aluka’s partners, ranging from archival documents, periodicals, books, reports, manuscripts, and reference works, to three-dimensional models, maps, oral histories, plant specimens, photographs, and slides.
A searchable database of digital images documenting art and material culture, including architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, design, and other forms of visual materials. A wide range of time periods and cultures are represented, with strengths in European, American and Asian cultures.
British Periodicals traces the development and growth of the periodical press in Britain from its origins in the seventeenth century to the Victorian 'age of periodicals' . This unique digital archive provides the full text of almost 500 periodical runs published from the 1680s to the 1930s. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the fine arts and the social sciences.
Early English Books Online is a searchable full-text database of 25,000 of the key texts from the Pollard and Wing Short-title catalog of books printed in England, Scotland, Ireland and of English books printed abroad, 1474-1640, with links to the digital facsimile page images.
Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) provides full-text searchable access to the digital images of 150,000 books and other materials published during the 18th Century. Based on the English Short Title Catalog bibliography, it includes English-language and foreign-language titles printed in the United Kingdom, along with thousands of important works from the Americas.
On Saturday 14 May 1842, the world's first pictorial weekly newspaper was born: The Illustrated London News. The inaugural issue covered a fire in Hamburg, Queen Victoria's fancy dress ball, the war in Afghanistan and the latest fashions in Paris. The ILN commissioned a galaxy of great artists and draughtsmen to cover wars, royal events, scientific invention, and exploration. In 1855 it launched the world's first colour supplement.
Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 contains information about North, Central and South America, the Arctic and Antarctica and the West Indies. This resource offers original accounts of exploration, pioneering, settlement, the western movement, military actions, Native Americans, slavery and abolition.
Smithsonian Libraries, Archives and Museums have worked together and created the Collections Search Center, a one-stop-searching center for the public for SI collections. This fast growing Collections Search Center is hosted by OCIO and contains online media such as images, sound files, videos, and online journals.
Images Online gives you instant access to thousands of the greatest images from the British Library's collections which include manuscripts, rare books, musical texts and maps spanning almost 3000 years. The range of images available include illustrations, drawings, paintings and photographs.
The historical map collection has over 21,000 maps and images online. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North American and South American maps and other cartographic materials. Historic maps of the World, Europe, Asia, and Africa are also represented.
NYPL Digital Gallery provides free and open access to over 700,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more.
Search the Collections is a working database that we are building continuously. You can search over a million records. Some records have minimal information; others are very detailed. Some have high quality photographs; some have more basic images; others have yet to be photographed.