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Graphic Design & Illustration

Image taken from page 4 of 'Mysteries and Miseries of America's Great Cities, embracing New York, Washington City, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and New Orleans ... Illustrated with numerous engravings'

Image taken from page 4 of 'Mysteries and Miseries of America's Great Cities, embracing New York, Washington City, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and New Orleans ... Illustrated with numerous engravings'.

Find this and over one million other copyright free images on the British Library Photostream.

Audio visual materials in the Library

The Library has a collection of film, television and video games available to borrow.

To search the collection go to Discover and on the Advanced Search screen choose which format you would like the results to be, e.g. DVD video, sound recording, etc.

Copyright guidelines

Copyright aware

Copyright Aware is a BBC website explaining what copyright is and gives guidance on how you can protect your own creative work and how to use other people's work legally.

Image databases

Free image websites

Even if an image is "free" it should still be acknowledged if you use it. A Harvard reference for an online image would look like this:

Norfolk, S. (2016) Oscar Niemeyer staircase [Online image]. Available from: <> [Accessed 24 July 2021].

You can find guidelines for referencing images and other sources on Skills for Learning.

British Council Visual Arts Collection

Artworks by British artists bought to demonstrate the very best in contemporary British practice in all medias. Over 8,500 works of British art can be found on the website.

British Library Photostream

The British Library has uploaded over one million public domain scans from 17th-19th century books to Flickr. The images are maps, geological diagrams, illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and more scanned from 65,000 volumes held by the British Library and they can be used and adapted for any purpose.


Design and Art Direction (D&AD) has an online archive of the finest examples of design and advertising.

Europeana Art

Explore over 58 million digital resources, including artworks, artefacts, books, videos and sounds from across Europe’s leading galleries, libraries, archives and museums.

Getty Images Embed Tool

Getty Images is a photobank of stock images and photographs, made available for use in websites, blogs and social media platforms through their embed tool (only currently works when off-campus).

The Getty Open Content Program

The J. Paul Getty Trust makes freely available all digital images to which it holds the rights, or that are in the public domain, to be used for any purpose. Currently, there are more than 140,000 images.

Google Arts and Culture

Content from over 1,200 leading museums and archives who have partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to provide high-resolution images of their artworks.

LIFE Photo Archive

Search millions of photographs from the LIFE magazine's photo archive, from the 1750s to today. Images include famous personalities as well as photos of historical and cultural events.

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

Online collection of over 8,500 artists and 81,000  works.

OpenGlam Open Collections

A compilation of openly licensed image collections from several cultural institutions. All of those listed contain images that can be freely used without restriction.

Reading Pictures: Images of Woman in Advertising

A free resource for students studying the visual component of mass media, taking advertising in women’s magazines as its focus. It includes extracts from the original PhD research from 1975, together with updates from 2012 and 2018. It also provides guidance on methodology, a comprehensive gallery of advertisements from both periods and draws conclusions about the changes in female stereotypes over the intervening decades.


All works from the national collection of British art from 1500 to today, plus international modern and contemporary art.

V&A Images

Over 783,000 images from the V&A collections.

​Wellcome Images

Thousands of freely licensed digital books, artworks, photos and images of historical library materials and museum objects.

V&A YouTube Channel

The V&A YouTube Channel is the V&A's online film magazine. The high quality films feature items in the V&A's collection, celebrity interviews from private views and exhibition showcases.

Video databases