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Finding Copyright-Free and Creative Commons Images

Citing Images

Images must be cited like all other resources.

If you use an image you did not create, you must provide a citation, even if the image is very small, or in the public domain. 

Image citations should include the following information, if available:

  • Title
  • Creator name
  • Repository information (museum, library, or other owning institution)
  • Image source (database, website, book, postcard, vendor, etc.)
  • Date accessed

It is also useful to include date, culture, and rights information, if known.

Format your citations according to the citation style you are using.

Gauguin image metadata

Gauguin, Paul, Flowers and a Bowl of Fruit on a Table, 1894, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Accessed September 1, 2014 from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/

 

Image Citation Examples by Style

Following are several examples of image citations formatted according to MLA, APA, Turabian, and Chicago styles.

MLA 2009 Style (examples from The Owl at Purdue)

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Museo National del Prado. Web. 22 May 2006.

Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine. 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Artchive. Web. 22 May 2006.

APA 2009 Style (examples from University of Maryland University College)

Image with a title from a library database:
Rousseau, H. (1896). The ship in the storm [Painting]. Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris. Retrieved from Oxford Art Online database.

Image with a title from a web site:
Rousseau, H. (1896). The ship in the storm [Painting]. Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris. Retrieved from http://www.uwm.edu/~wash/rousseau.jpg.

Image with a title scanned from a book:
Rousseau, H. (1896). The ship in the storm [Painting]. Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris. Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris. By Claire Fresches et al. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art. 232.

Image without a title from a library database:
Muybridge, E. [Photograph of a horse running]. (1887). National Gallery, London. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

Image without a title from a printed source:
Muybridge, E. [Photograph of a horse running]. (1887). National Gallery, London. River of shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the technological wild West. By Rebecca Solnit. New York, NY: Viking. 52.

Note: If an image does not have a title, create a brief title and place it in [].

Turabian Style, 7th Edition

Paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other artworks:
(Georgia O'Keeffe, The Cliff Chimneys, 1938, Milwaukee Art Museum)
(Michelangelo, David, 1501-4, GAlleria dell'Accademia, Florence)
(Ansel Adams, "North Dome, Basket Dome, Mount Hoffman, Yosemite," ca. 1935, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC)

Chicago Style, 16th Edition

Image from a library subscription database:
Bib: Hoshiko, Eugene. "China Rain." Photograph. 1999. AP Images, ID99062401980.
Notes: Eugene Hoshiko, "China Rain," photograph, 1999, AP Images, ID99062401980.

Image from an online database:
Bib: Currier & Ives. "Gray Eagle." Lithograph. ca. 1866. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2006676682/ (accessed September 25, 2010).
Notes: Currier & Ives, "Gray Eagle," lithograph, ca. 1866, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2006676682/ (accessed September 25, 2010).

Image from a website:
Bib: Wilma, David. "El Centro de la Raza, Beacon Hill, Seattle." Photograph. 2001. HistoryLink.org, http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=9186 (accessed September 25, 2010).
Notes: David Wilma, "El Centro de la Raza, Beacon Hill, Seattle," photograph, 2001, HistoryLink.org, http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=9186 (accessed September 25, 2010).