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History: Finding Images

Welcome to Images

On this page, find image resources and learn how to use images ethically in your academic and creative work.

Campus photographer, Gary Gladstone, working on the yearbook, 1960s. Courtesy of the Sarah Lawrence College Archives.

When and How Can I Use an Image?

Just because you find an image online does not mean that it is free to use. When using an image, make sure you use media with a stated license (for example Creative Commons and Public Domain) or determine if your intended use of an image is covered under Fair Use.

Can I Use That Picture?

Newbold, Curtis. Can I Use that Picture?. 2014. The Visual Communication Guy. Web. Accessed August 25, 2017.

You must also always cite an image, just as you would a work in print.
For information on how to cite sources, visit this page.

Creative Commons helps people to share their works with the world.

Creative Commons licenses are a standardized way to give others permission to share and use a piece of work -- on conditions of their choice. To find out how you can use an image with a Creative Commons license review the license type listed.

Depending upon when a work was created, it might be in the Public Domain.

Copyright Term and the Public Domain, a guide to copyright duration created by Peter Hirtle at Cornell University, is a comprehensive and useful resource for researching a work's copyright status. You can also use the Copyright Slider from the American Library Association for quick reference.

As a general rule, works registered or published in the U.S. before 1923 are in the public domain.


Have more questions? Check out our Copyright Guide and/or

What is Fair Use?

In order to balance the interests of the creators of copyrighted works with the public's ability to benefit from those works, copyright law includes the exemption of Fair Use

Fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission for purposes such as criticism, parody, news reporting, research and scholarship, and teaching.

However, just because a use is educational does not mean that it automatically qualifies as fair use. When using content for certain purposes it is important to consider copyright and if you might be infringing on it.

Columbia Fair Use Checklist

Fair Use Evaluator - American Library Association

Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center Stanford University Libraries

Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians - U.S. Copyright Office



Visual Resources and Image Databases at Sarah Lawrence

Sarah Lawrence Image Collections

Academic Databases with Images

Free Image Databases

In New York Times Historical you can search for advertisements by going to Advanced Search and selecting the Document type

Flickr and Google Image Searches