Use this guide to find images at the library and online.

General search tips

Do the research

  • Check the spelling of the keywords used (descriptor, creator name, site, title).
  • Browse through publications. The image might be in a book or journal.
  • Find synonyms or words related to your search.

The research tool

  • Use the language and vocabularies favoured by the tool.
  • Explore and use advanced search options when available.
  • Consult the tool's help options.

Ask for help.

Image use

Planning to insert images in a paper or to project them in class?

Find the right size image for your needs. Making an image larger than it actually is will render a poor quality image. To avoid distorting the image, always proportionately resize.

Make sure you have the rights to use the images.

Permission is required for images that are not copyright-free. For more information, see: Copyright for images.

ARTstor guides

Find images via Google Images

Search with keywords

With usage rights
  • Execute a keyword search from the Google images search box.
  • Go to the advanced image search page by clicking on Settings and choosing "Advanced search"
    • Refine results by searching for an exact term or phrase, words related to your search (or synonyms), by excluding a particular word, site or domain.
    • Narrow your search by choosing from filters, such as image size, aspect ratio and coloration, by limiting to a site or domain.
    • Need to insert the image in a paper or to project it in class? Select the appropriate option from the usage rights menu.

Search with an image

Find similar images, a different size, suggested keywords, or its identification.
  • Choose the camera icon.
  • Enter an image file from your computer or the URL of an image found on the Web. Tip: In some browsers, you can also drag and drop an image in the box to initiate a search.
  • Results include, best keyword guess for this image, visually similar images, and pages that include the matching images.
  • Click on the search tools button, located below the keyword box, to find more sizes, or time range. 

Google Help

Find images in Flickr


No login required

Search with keywords

  • Enter keywords or phrases in the flickr search box.
  • Choose advanced search.
    • Refine results by searching for an exact term or phrase, related words (or synonyms), or by excluding a particular word, site or domain. 
    • Search by content and media types, and/or by date.
    • Need to insert the image in a paper or project it in class? Search within Creative Commons-licensed content by selecting "All Creative Commons" under "Any license".


  • The Commons: Sharing "the hidden treasures from the world’s public photography archives". No known copyright restrictions.
  • World Map: Search the map by keyword and/or location to find geotagged images. Click on the geotags on the map or pick from the thumbnails, then click on the pop-up thumbnail to access the image.

Consult rights statement and download the image

While viewing the selected image, right-click it
  • to select a size, view and download it.
  • to view the rights statement, conditions of use or license. Click on the link "no known copyright restrictions", "some rights reserved" or "all rights reserved".

Ask a question

Roxanne Lafleur's picture
Roxanne Lafleur
MRT 039C
613 562-5800 (3720)