Historical Images

Do you need authentic, reliably documented historical images for your project or presentation (on the Silk Roads, on medieval or premodern books, on other material objects)? Google Images and other online resources may be missing dates, sources, and contexts. The following resources are library and museum repositories. Their images of books and objects are dated and carefully documented. For many of these repositories, images are copyright-free; however, please check the usage policy of each institution.

This brief resource list was compiled by Alexandra Bolintineanu with contributions from Alexandra Atiya, Ariana Ellis, and Cai Henderson.

Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts. The British Library. http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/welcome.htm

Collection Online. The British Museum. http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online.aspx


e-Codices. Swiss Collections and Swiss Manuscripts Abroad. https://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en


Digital Bodleian. The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford. http://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/

Open Content Program. The Getty Museum. http://www.getty.edu/about/opencontent.html


Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts. The Morgan Library and Museum. http://ica.themorgan.org/default 

The Met Collection. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection


Digital Collections. Munich Digitization Center. Bayerische Staats Bibliothek. https://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/ 


Collections. Museum of Fine Arts Boston. http://www.mfa.org/collections


OPenn. University of Pennsylvania Libraries. http://openn.library.upenn.edu/

Parker Library on the Web.  Parker Library, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and Stanford University Libraries. https://parker.stanford.edu/parker/

Manuscripts and Rare Books. The Walters Art Museum. https://art.thewalters.org/browse/category/manuscripts-and-rare-books/