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Images: Finding and Citing


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Where can I find images?

Images abound! There are many free online collections, of which several are listed below. Many books in the library contain images that you can scan and use in your paper or presentation. Oftentimes, Google Images will quickly yield the image you need, but always remember to limit to your search to "free to use or share" in the Advanced Search settings for "usage rights" and trace the image back to its source in order to give credit to its creator.

Google Images

Advanced Search allows you to limit your search results by:

  • Image Type (Face, Photo, Clip Art, Line Drawing, Animated)
  • Dominant Color
  • Image Size
  • Aspect Ratio (proportions)
  • Region (geographical)
  • File Type (JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, SVG, WEPB, ICO)
  • Domain (.edu, .org, .gov)
  • *Usage Rights

    Using Images from Google

  • Google Images is a search engine; it is not itself an image collection or database. Therefore, you will need to find and cite the original owner of the image. In Google Images, there is a link to the right of the image that says "Visit Page."  In your citation, provide the URL that takes you to the image. Sometimes this link goes to a page that does not identify origination, creator, name or owner of image. If there isn't enough information to cite an image, locate a more credible image. Use Google Image's *Usage Rights (found under "Tools" in basic search, and in the left filter area in the advanced search) when you begin your search to obtain freely-usable images from the get-go.

Free Image Collections on the Web

Images in Books

To determine if a book you find in Discover (SFU's library catalog) contains illustrations, click on the title to view the book's record. Open the "Description" and look for mention of illustrations or color plates in the "Physical Description" field, as in the example below:

Bibliographic Record of a book containing images