HIST605/EALC590: Medieval Japan: Finding images

Course guide for students of HIST 605/EALC 590 on how to use databases available in KU Libraries and find research materials.

KU image gateway

Image Gateway. Included here are licensed commercial sources, publicly available collections, and images digitized from resources in the KU libraries, museums, and academic departments. Information and terms of use for each collection is found in the listing. Asian art is well represented in the section on Art & Cultural Heritage with images from the Spencer Museum of Art, the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan, and other important collections.

ARTstor Help & Tutorial, One of the most comprehensive image resources licensed by KU is ARTstor with more than 1 million images on a wide-range of topics. This guide introduces the resource and helps users learn to find, download, save, print, organize, and share images

News images

AP Images. Contains the archives of the Associated Press. New content is added constantly to news photographs, audio sound bites, and graphics spanning 180 years of history. Formerly called AccuNet/AP multimedia archive.


General information

Images may be found in a variety of formats on publicly accessible web sites. Copyright restrictions may apply to these images, and the web master of a given site may need to be consulted when images are used.  Many large and small museums have excellent web sites which display images from their collections as well as information about the images and contacts for more assistance. The library also has many lavishly illustrated books and journals that are available for research.

Finding Images on the Web. A tutorial prepared at Boston Univ. that provides an excellent introduction for image searching.

Images of Asian Art & Architecture

Digital Scrolling Paintings Project, hosted by the Center for the Art of East Asia at the Univ. of Chicago, this project allows viewers to examine handcrolls that are so fragile that they are rarely on exhibit in the museums that own them The participating institutions include the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smart Museum in Chicago, the Shanghai Museum, the Palace Museum in Beijing, and the East Asian Library at the Univ. of Chicago.

Asian Historical Architecture documents nearly 400 sites across 15 countries with photographs, an interactive map, and lengthy bibliography of related websites and texts.

The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Photographic Archive of  Buddhist and Asian Art, located at The Ohio State Univ., this collection of 300,000 original slides and photographs provides photographic documents of art and architecture throughout Asia; countries covered include India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), China, and Japan; documentation covers in situ works of art and architecture ranging from approximately 2500 B.C.E. to the present, as well as pieces found in most major Asian, European, and American museums.

Specialized museums with large collections of Asian art are an excellent source of images. Here are a few examples:

National Palace Museum in Taipei City, Taiwan offers selections from the collection by medium,  thematic presentations, and 3D images.

Freer & Sackler Museums of the Smithsonian Institution provide online images for more than 11,000 objects int their collections. The collection is searchable by object name or by topical area.

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco presents over 8300 objects from their collection online. The "Quick Search" box allows searching by keyword, artist name, or combine terms.

Art images

Art Resource. A large commercial photo archive of fine art from prehistoric times to the present. Includes over three million transparencies and black and white photographs of works cross-referenced by subject, title, artist, period, place, and medium.

Bridgeman Art Library. A commercial vendor founded in 1972 offering art, culture, and history images from over 8,000 collections; more than 55,000 entries and 46,497 images from over 29,000 artistsIncludes many Asian art images.

Essential List for Visual Resources Professionals. Directory of image websites compiled by Pat Young at the University of Michigan.

Oxford Art Online. Gateway access to Grove Art Online and other Oxford art reference resources. In addition to the more than 23,000 subject entries and 21,000 biographies, the product offers 40,000 image links and 5,000 images contained within Grove Art Online.


Image copyright

Artists Rights Society. The preeminent copyright, licensing, and monitoring organization for visual artists in the United States. Founded in 1987, ARS represents the intellectual property rights interests of over 50,000 visual artists and estates of visual artists from around the world (painters, sculptors, photographers, architects and others).

Copyright Crash Course. A website prepared by Georgia Harper, Office of General Counsel at the University of Texas, outlining some of the legal issues regarding copyright and fair use.