Image collections & online exhibitions
Freely available sources : by regions/countries (selections)
- Central Asia
- East Asia
- East Asia: China
- East Asia: Japan
- East Asia: Korea
- Middle East
- Middle East: Egypt
- South Asia
- Southeast Asia
Sources subscribed to by SOAS
EBSCOhost - Image Collections
A number of photos of people and places, historical photos, map, flags, etc. Off-site access available for SOAS students and staff only with a SOAS id and password.
Oxford Art Online - External Image Links
Comprehensive online reference resource for visual arts worldwide with external image links. Off-site access available for SOAS students and staff only with a SOAS id and password.
Sources available for free off-site from the Senate House Library
A huge image database with more than 500,000 images – in art, area studies, social history, sociology, environment history. Asian, African and ethnographic art are well covered. Off-site access for SOAS students and staff using a ULRLS Library Card obtainable from the Senate House Library.
Freely available sources : general (selections)
A & A Art and Architecture
Provides access to 40,000 digitised images of paintings, drawings and prints and photographs of architecture and sculpture from the Courtauld Institute's collections.
African and Asian Visual Artists Archive (AAVAA)
Nearly 2,000 images from the AAVAA slide collection of 20th century visual art by artists of African and Asian descent working in the UK . The images are also available through the Visual Art Data Service.
ArchNet Digital Library: Images
An online community for architects, planners, urban designers, landscape architects, and scholars, with a special focus on the Islamic world. It also provides a huge internet image database for both Islamic and contemporary architecture in the Islamic world.
Archaeology Image Bank
This collection has been funded by the Higher Education Academy as a resource for teaching and learning in archaeology. The intention is to encourage archaeologists to submit quality archaeological images to the collection and provide enough metadata to allow search and retrieval.
An architecture and visual arts photo library supplying high quality images for educational and commercial usage. Their archive consists of over 50,000 slides complete with documentation and stock photographs.
A huge commercial fine art stock image collection. The collection is indexed by subject, title, artist, period, place, and medium.
Over 7,500 artists with links to images online, searchable by names of artist, art museums, nationalities, etc.
A teaching resource for world art studies. The body of the Artworld database is made up from images from two collections, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at theUniversity of East Anglia and the Oriental Museum at the University of Durham.
Bridgeman Art Library
One of the largest art image providers world-wide. It offers over 100,000 art (thumbnail) images and documentation from major international museums, galleries and auction houses.
British Library Images Online
An ever-growing database of thousands of images from the British Library's collections. Users can search, order, purchase and download images direct from the site. The site offers both basic and advanced search facilities.
British Library Online Gallery
An online gallery of selected highlights form the British Library's extensive collection. Included is the 'Turning the Pages' system which gives users an interactive view of 13 books, such as the Diamond Sutra, printed in China in 868, and Baybars' Qur'an, the "epitome of sumptuous Arabic calligraphy¡±.
A collection of over 115,000 images of plants, animals, fossils, people/culture, and landscapes, which can be searched by name, type, country, location and/or photographer. From theUniversity of California, Berkeley
Cities and Buildings Database
A small image database of buildings and cities drawn from across time and throughout the world, available to students.
Corbis offers more than 1.5 million of this company's 25 million historical, contemporary, celebrity, and fine art images for creative professionals and online consumers through a variety of products and services.
Costume Page: Costuming Resources Online
Includes history of costume, images, links to costume museums and societies world wide and a section for Asian and African costumes with useful images.
Links which enable the user to access images from the major world religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Islam and a large section of Judaism.
Fineart.ac.uk : the National Fine Art Education Digital Collection
A national web-based collection of work by staff and students of UK higher education institutions who have made a significant contribution to UK fine art education through practice. Can search by keyword.
Fitzwilliam Museum Online Exhibitions
Excellent online web exhibitions with images and descriptions. Includes Japanese woodblock prints and Oriental coins.
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: the National Museum of Asian Art for the United States
Online representation of the Asian Art museum based within the Smithsonian Institution. Details of current and past exhibitions with many images.
Getty Images is one of the biggest commercial image collections. Its resources are divided between creative, editorial (news, sport and entertainment), and film. Each section can be searched in a variety of ways, and images can be purchased online. There are royalty-free images as well as rights-managed ones. The collection offers a broad scope of subjects.
Getty Museum Collection: Explore Art
An online service supporting arts education from The J. Paul Getty Trust. The image collection can be browsed by artist name, type of art or subject.
Google Image Search
Large image search engine. Upon selection, a larger version of the graphic, together with the web page in which it appears, are displayed to the user.
Hermitage Museum, Digital Collection
A virtual gallery of high-resolution artwork images from theState Hermitage Museum.
Images from History
Images from the history of world art and archaeology.
Internet Mission Photography Archive
The Internet Mission Photography Archive contains historical images from Catholic and Protestant collections in Britain, Europe, and North America. It includes a selection of prints from SOAS' missionary collections; from the collections of the Council for World Mission, the Methodist Missionary Society and the China Inland Mission.
Library and Archival Exhibitions on the Web
Links to online exhibitions that have been created by libraries, archives, and historical societies, as well as to museum online exhibitions with a significant focus on library and archival materials including printed books, book illustrations, manuscripts, photographs, printed ephemera, posters, archival audio and video recordings, artist's books, and the book arts (engraving, marbling, and bookbinding, etc.). With a keyword search engine.
Library of Congress: Exhibitions
Online exhibitions from the Library of Congress.
Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University: Collections & Exhibitions
Images from theMichael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University. Includes ancient Egypt, the Near East, 20th century Sub-Saharan African art and Asian art.
Collection of royalty free photographs on a variety of subjects.
National Maritime Museum Collections Online
Free access to over 12,000 digital images of items held in the museum collections of the National Maritime Museum Greenwich and the Royal Observatory.
Royal Geographical Society Picture Library
The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) is home to a huge and diverse collection of geographical images. The collection contains photographs, paintings, drawings, maps, artefacts and documents.
An online resource of over 300,000 multimedia records (images, sound, video, learning materials) from museums, galleries and archives in UK. It is available by subscription, but non-subscribers are also able to access to thumbnail images and limited captions for free.
Victoria & Albert Museum
Contains a selection of images and video show.
Visual Arts Data Service (VADS)
Data service to support research, learning and teaching, by providing visual arts digital resources, including African and Asian Visual Artists Archive and South Asian Diaspora Literature and Arts Archive (SALIDAA)
Visual Collections: Images of Art, History and Culture
A digital image collection portal which includes more than 300,000 works from museums, universities and private collections throughout the world., available for free, public access.
WHTour: World Heritage
The WHTour is creating a documentary image bank of panoramic pictures and virtual reality movies for all sites registered as World Heritage by the UNESCO
Wellcome Trust Medical Photographic Library
Over 160,000 images including manuscript illustrations, early printed books, paintings, prints and photographs. The material covers the history of medicine up to the present day from around the world.
World Art Treasures
Images from 100,000 slides belonging to the Jacques-Edouard Berger Foundation, devoted to art, and including the civilisations of Egypt, China, Japan, India and Europe.