Illustrate to communicate – make your point with an image! – info tip

The Library has a number of sources of copyright-cleared images which you can use in your assignments and University work. Why not explore some of the resources listed below in order to enrich your projects with pictures that illustrate your point?

Images can be a persuasive addition to your argument, but remember to consider them critically as with any source and reference images appropriately, giving credit to the original source.

Finding images

The main resource for images is Britannica Image Quest – it includes over 2.7 million images from various collections including National Geographic, Getty Images, National History Museum and more.

There are lots of other databases that provide images, or include both text and images but allow you to search for images only. See what’s available on our Image and sound page.

Image search engines

There is also a wealth of images available online, some of which are made available for non-commercial use in project work and presentations. These are labelled as Creative Commons images.

You can find these by using a number of search engines and photo-sharing websites, including Xpert search and attribution. Xpert searches Creative Commons licensed material and allows you to download the image with the appropriate attribution and licence details integrated – easy!

For further guidance on using images legally, see the University’s advice on copyright

University image collections

The University has several image collections students can use to improve their work. Special Collections have many images of the items in their collections on their website which can be used in unpublished and non-commercial works. Special Collections covers many areas including Samuel Beckett, early English coins, early anatomy books and publishers’ archives. Please contact them if you want to know more about using these images.

Citing images

Like everything you refer to in your academic work, you need to cite the author of your image and where you got it from – see our advice on how to cite an image

Need further advice?

For more guidance contact your subject liaison librarian

This is one of a series of tips to help you save time and effort finding or using information.

This tip was written by Natalie Guest, Multimedia Manager.