A variety of sources for digital images, ranging from databases to free websites to photo sharing sites, can be accessed using the links below.

All the sites listed contain images that can be used for non-commercial educational use e.g. lectures, essays. Please be aware that there are variations for each website, and many contain a mix of items that can be used and others that are restricted, so please make sure you check the terms and copyright information at each site for full information about what is and is not allowed.

Please remember that you MUST attribute (reference) images that you use.

Main databases

Art Museum Image Gallery

Over 165,000 images covering painting, sculpture, glass, ceramics, textiles, photographs and much more. The content covers a range of periods and places and has been gathered from museums and private collections.

Enter your RGU username and password into the boxes.

Bridgeman Education

Over 640,000 images from a variety of museums, collections, galleries and artists covering a variety of periods and places. Subjects covered include architecture, design, jewellery, paintings, engravings, landscapes, ceramics, and much more.

Enter your RGU username and password into the boxes.

British Cartoon Archive (including the Carl Giles Digital Archive)

Social, political and economic cartoons including the Carl Giles collection.

No password needed to search the archive. To download images you will need your RGU username and password. Instructions on how to download are available on CampusMoodle.

SCRAN (Scottish Cultural Resource Access Network)

Digital images representing Scotland’s culture and history. Over 390,000 items are available including images, movies and sounds. Items cover art and design, culture, social sciences, sciences, health, tourism, and much more.

Enter your RGU username and password into the boxes.

Mixed databases – includes articles with integrated and/or individual images

Berg Fashion Library

Berg Fashion Library provides integrated text and image content on world dress and fashion throughout history. Includes the Encyclopaedia of World Dress and Fashion, an extensive E-Book collection and a vast image bank.

Enter your RGU username and password in the boxes provided.

Vogue (US) Archive

A complete searchable archive of American Vogue, from the first issue in 1892 to the current month. The images here are integrated into the articles/text from the magazine and so can not be downloaded individually.

Enter your RGU username and password in the boxes provided.

The Women's Wear Daily Archive

A comprehensive archive of Women’s Wear Daily, from the first issue in 1910 to material from within the last twelve months. The images here are integrated into the articles/text from the magazine and so can not be downloaded individually.

Enter your RGU username and password in the boxes provided.

Websites – general collections and specialised sites

Ad* Access

A collection of over 7000 US and Canadian adverts. 


The Art Images for College Teaching collection has a variety of art and architecture images that are generally pre 20th century. 


The Architectus archive contains architectural drawings, designs and plans.


This site shows works by contemporary artist and galleries. Most are just available to view on screen although some are available for download.

Capital Collections

Image library of Edinburgh City Libraries, Museums and Galleries. 

Culture Grid

Culture Grid brings together images and information from museums, galleries, libraries and archives.


Images, texts, sounds and videos from a range of Europe's leading galleries, libraries, archives and museums.

Getty Museum

Over 99,000 images available for download, look for the download icon near the images to see which ones are included.

Great Buildings Collection

Architecture images, drawings, maps, models and more.

Luna Commons

A free public resource that offers images in a large range of areas. 

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Collection Online

Approx. 400,000 images of the Met’s collection are available to download for non-commercial use, images that can be downloaded are tagged with an OASC symbol. 

National Gallery of Art

Includes over 45000 images from the NGA collection.

Public Health Image Library

A collection of photographs, illustrations and multimedia files. The images here are either in the public domain or copyright protected.  See the FAQs section (question 6) for more information.


Images from the RIBA collections covering world architecture of all periods together with related subjects such as interior design, landscape, topography, planning, construction and the decorative arts. Only the low resolution copies may be downloaded free of charge and please be aware most images are watermarked.

V&A Collections

Over 400,000 images from the Victoria and Albert collections.


VADS contains over 100,000 images on a vast range of subjects.

Wellcome Images

Images in subjects ranging from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and biomedical sciences.


WorldImages gives access to over 100000 images from the California State University Image project.

Photo sharing websites and image search engines

The following links are to photo sharing sites where amateurs and professionals can upload images to be shared and used by others and other places that you can search for copyright free images.

Please be aware each site will offer a mix of images, some of which you will not be able to use so always check the terms and conditions, acknowledge the source and reference.

Creative Commons Search


Flickr creative commons pictures



Google advanced image search




Wikimedia Commons