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Rhode Island School of Design

Image Captions - How to cite an image: Cite Unidentified Images

A guide to creating an image caption using MLA or Art Bulletin style

Related Guide

Citation Tools - a guide to online and print citation tools + style manuals such as MLA, Chicago, Turabian and various free, online bibliographic tools

Citing Unidentified Images

When all or part of an image source is unknown or unknowable, use these points to guide your MLA image caption:

Unknown Artist, Author or Creator
List that source by title in your works cited list. The title should be followed by the name of the source in the citation, and the remainder of the citation composed as appropriate for the source type. Alphabetize reference list entries beginning with a title using the primary word of the title (excluding a, an, or the).

An Image without a Title
If an image is not titled, create a brief, descriptive title for it. Do not italicize this title or place it in quotes, and capitalize only the first word and any proper nouns.

Undated Sources
Use "n.d." (for "no date") in the appropriate place in your citation. When this is used after a period in a citation, capitalize the "n" ("N.d.").

Sources consulted:
MLA Citation Examples University of Maryland University Colleges Libraries
Miscellaneous Photographs Collection, Archives of American Art

About the Librarian



Ellen Petraits
Research & Instruction Librarian

Coordinator of Graduate Library Instruction

Ellen Petraits
Except where otherwise noted, this guide is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution license.