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Visual Resources Center: Home

Library Resource for Digital Images


Located in the SVA Library at 380 Second Avenue on the 2nd floor, SVA's VRC is the central resource for images and imaging technologies used by instructors and students at SVA for teaching and studying purposes. Below you will find more information about our services as well as helpful links on how and where to access a broad range of online digital image collections of artworks for educational purposes and/or personal enjoyment.



A panoramic view of the entrance to the VRC, with the door open and a view into the facility, and a sign on the right next to the door reading
A panoramic photo of the inside of the Visual Resources Center, with desks and computers to the left, the slide shelves in the center background, and scanning equipment and desks to the right.
Screenshot of SVA Image Library database website, with the grey menu bar at top, logo in the top left corner, and a series of thumbnails of artworks below with their corresponding titles.
A cropped image of a student worker scanning a book.
A panoramic view of the slide collection, stored in metal archival drawers stacked to the left and right of the image with labels on each drawer.
Image of fifteen 35mm slides of artworks, in three rows of five, illuminated and displayed in a light box.



The VRC is staffed Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm. If you are a faculty member and currently teaching a course, you may gain access to the VRC at any time the library is open (check the library page for a list of operating hours).


The collection includes over 72,000 local digital records through our in-house image database, SVA Image Library, which is now accessed as an Institutional Collection in ARTstor.  We continue to house a limited access collection of 130,00 35mm slides. 


VRC staff offers a variety of services to the SVA community, including maintenance of our online collection of images as well as training and technical support for ARTstor. We also provide information on scanning and storing images.

One-on-one instruction for the use of our image databases is available by contacting Lorraine Gerety (, 212-592-2667). We also offer faculty a quiet space (equipped with workstations for Internet access and WiFi, an Epson GT 20000 scanner) for preparing lectures, meeting with students and/or conducting research.



Cover art with blue background title in black and white, abstract linear pattern in white at bottom right         Cover art with cream colored background, title in dark blue, three cubes of various sizes         Cover art with geometric patterns in light purple and light yellow, title in black text


Below are a few research guides on Copyright Basics:

The following are some great Use Assessment Tools pertaining to copyright, fair use guidelines and best practices:

Click here to visit Colgate University's helpful examples of how to create correct image citations in papers and presentations, using MLA, Chicago and APA writing styles. Another great option is the Research Guide for Citing Images provided by UC Libraries.


Art Images for College Teaching (AICT) – Art Images for College Teaching is a non-profit project of its author, art historian and visual resources curator, Allan T. Kohl.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Smithsonian – link to multiple image databases

Wikimedia Commons – a database of 23,201,975 freely usable media files

WorldImages database – provides access to the California State University IMAGE Project. It contains approximately 100,000 images, is global in coverage and includes all areas of visual imagery.

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam – letters to and from Vincent Van Gogh

Historic Cities – maps, literature, documents, books, and other materials relating to the past, present and future of historic cities

DigitalNZ – an initiative led by the National Library of New Zealand, with more than 160 partners and over 28 million digital items to discover, such as aerial photos, posters and memorabilia, newspaper clippings, artworks and publications.

The British Museum

The Clara database – offers information on 18,000 women visual artists of all time periods and nationalities, drawn from the materials in the National Museum of Women Artists’ extensive Archives

Davis Art Images

Victoria and Albert Museum collections

Pre-Raphaelite Online Resource – from Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery


MCAD Library – image collection project called, "Art of the Poster: 1880-1918"

accessCeramics – contemporary ceramics image resource

AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Design Archives

State Hermitage Museum’s Digital Collection (English language link)

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Louvre Collection Databases (English language link)

Museo Nacional del Prado (English language link)

Scholars resource – provides works of art for teaching, including image collections from Saskia Ltd., Davis Art Images, Hartill Art Associates, Archivision, the Bridgeman Art Library, and more

Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archive – an extensive image library featuring over 40,000 high-resolution images from over 500 museums and many other collections

New York Public Library Digital Gallery – provides free and open access to hundreds of thousands of digital images from the NYPL’s collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, rare prints, photographs and more

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Uffizi Gallery, Florence (English language link)

The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

The Web Gallery of Art – a virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture from 11th to mid-19th centuries

Index of Christian Art / Medieval Art – a subscription database, through Princeton University, of one of the largest and most important photographic and bibliographic archives of medieval art, worldwide

Getty Images

Detroit Institute of Arts

Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum – research resource on Greek vases in museum collections, worldwide, with approx. 250 digitized museum catalogues

Collections of Japanese Art Online and in Print – maintained Rosina Buckland (IFA Alumnus)

Bridgeman Images – excellent source of fine art and historical images from over 8,000 collections with more than 29,000 artists

Classical Art Research Centre and the Beazley Archive – provides bibliographic references and allows for iconographic searching on Classical vases. Based on J.D. Beazley’s Attic black-figure vase-painters and Attic red-figure vase painters

VADS – a variety of online image collections at various UK institutions from (mostly) non-traditional fields of art history

Art Resource – photo archive of more than 1,000,000 fine art images of works from prehistoric times to the present, and over 3,000,000 transparencies and black and white photographs of painting, sculpture, architecture and the minor arts (also serves as the official rights and permissions representative for many institutions in the United States and abroad)

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Courtauld Institute of Art – more than 40,000 images and a network of over half a million links

Chartres: Cathedral of Notre Dame – created by the University of Pittsburgh, this website provides access to a comprehensive collection of images and detailed descriptions of Chartres Cathedral

Local Artists – the Irving Sandler Artists File is “not only the largest but also the earliest established artist registry in the world,” representing mostly young, contemporary artists working in North America.

New York Public Library Picture Collection (approx. 38,000 images) 

Art History Resources – a comprehensive site with links to art images from prehistoric times through the 20th Century

Art Source – is a selective site with links to many online art and art history resources

National Library of the Netherlands: Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

Boston Printmakers Association

British Library's Online Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts - a searchable database of some of the western illuminated manuscripts in the British Library

Smithsonian Institution Cross Collection Search Tool

Metropolitan Museum of Art Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History - The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History pairs essays and works of art with chronologies, telling the story of art and global culture through the Museum’s collection.

Victorian Resources Online - annotated list of scholarly websites

Jisc Digital Media - Museums, galleries and collections from jisc digital media (joint information systems committee)

Europeana Collections - portal with links to over 52,308,086 images, text, video and sounds from European museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections.

ArchitectureWeek - collection of photos, architectural plans, 3D models and maps

Museum of Modern Art New York - museum’s online collection of over 65,000 works. Multimedia section includes audio, video and interactive exhibitions

The National Gallery (London) - entire collection available to search, also of interest is the Research section for access to other online collections

The National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.) - collection, audio and video podcasts are also available

TATE - online collection which includes illustrated information for the majority of works from Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. You can also access nearly 2,500 artworks by Joseph Mallord William Turner from other collections. Together with Tate's own holdings, these form the most comprehensive online catalogue of Turner's work.

Artnet - aimed at art buyers and sellers, the site lets you browse the works of thousands of contemporary artists and galleries from around the world

askARTresource for art pricing, offering international art auction records, artist biographies, artist signatures and more. 

American Folk Art Museum (New York) - over 8,000 works of art from the U.S. and abroad, spanning traditional American folk art made at the turn of the eighteenth century to twenty-first century works by self-taught artists and art brut creators.

The Asia Society Museum Collection (New York)

Brooklyn Museum's Online Collection

Chelsea Gallery Map - listing of art galleries in NYC's Chelsea neighborhood

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

The Frick Collection

Guggenheim Collection Online – searchable database of selected artworks from the Museum’s permanent collection, containing more than 1,450 artworks by over 470 artists

International Center of Photography – collection of over 58,000 digital records spanning the history of photography as a medium, from daguerreotypes to gelatin silver and digital chromogenic prints, with a special emphasis on American and European documentary photography from about 1930 through the 1960s

The Jewish Museum

Morgan Library and Museum – holdings including Egyptian art, Renaissance paintings, Chinese porcelains, illuminated, literary and historical manuscripts, as well as early printed books, old master drawings and prints

National Academy Museum – one of the largest public American art collections in the country containing over 7,000 works from the 19th century to the present

Whitney Museum of American Art – containing over 21,000 works, reflecting the wide range of mediums and movements in the Whitney’s collection

Visual Resources Curator