UTS Library

Design Studies: Images

In this guide:

Image databases

The library has a variety of image databases to choose from, including recommended free websites. There's information about each database on what kinds of images they contain.

Search tips:

  • click on the title of the database and login using your student number and webmail password. You can do this from home too!
  • search using keywords
  • look at results and click on a thumbnail to see more information
  • you will need to reference images so make note of important information such as: creator, date created, title/caption, medium, source, <URL>.
  • look for an option to save or download the image
  • You can usually use images for educational purposes as long as you reference correctly. Some restrictions may apply to reusing an image on a public website


You may find the following databases useful for your subject(s):
MAAS Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences entensive collection of Australian design through history.
Google Arts & Culture for art and design images from museum and gallery collections around the world.
Digital Public Library of America for images from libraries and museums across the United States of America.
Flickr: the Commons for more museum and gallery images and includes Australian content.
ArtStor for art and design images from museum and gallery collections around the world - Note: cannot Pin images from Artstor
Getty Images has a wide collection of creative and editorial images

Why use image databases?

It's important when searching for images that you think about the quality of the images and proper attribution. Look for high resolution images with information about where the image came from, who owns it (e.g. a gallery or museum) and how you are allowed to use it. This helps you give the creator or copyright holder proper credit, and helps you write a more complete reference list. 
Reputable sources for images include image databases like the ones above. You can also explore collections in musuem and gallery websites (like Cooper Hewitt or the V&A), as well as artists' and makers' own websites.