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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design


An introductory guide to resources for Photography


Image Databases

Searching Photographs

Here you will find resources that help you find photographs both through online databases and the Picture Collection at RISD.

Online Image Databases

There are many databases which contain images, but here is a short list of helpful databases many of which focus on photographic images.

Google Image Search

Google is an easy way to search for photographs and photographers. There are advanced search features that let you search for specific aspect ratios, restrict the color, specify the image size and much more. Try Google's Advanced Image Search.

Types of usage rights

Understanding rights is helpful if you want to use a photograph you found online. Copyright can be complicated, if you are unsure about the rights of an image ask for help. Google allows you to limit your search by certain rights and licenses.

This info graphic is from the Technology Enhanced Learning Blog, and helps to explain Creative Commons Licenses.


RISD's Picture Collection

Students, faculty, and researchers have access to the Picture Collection which contains almost 500,000 hardcopy images of people, places and things. You may check out up to 200 images at one time. Contact Alecia Underhill with questions.


RISD has many periodicals which focus on Photography. To see a full list of periodicals by subject follow this link. Below you will find a brief list of photography periodicals.