OCAD University Dorothy H. Hoover Library

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How do I find an image of a specific artwork?

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This actually can be a challenging request. In general our OCAD U Library Image Databases will offer effective coverage of art and design from all time periods and all cultures of  the world, but these resource do not cover EVERY artwork ever created!

One of the foremost collections is ARTstor Digital Library which offers sample images from all historical eras, so you may want to select artworks for use in academic research based on what is available through this collection. The OCAD U image collection is searchable in this database. Note that it offers full catalogue records for each images (creator, date of creation, medium, dimensions, image rights information), so it offers all the information needed for full image citations. It also features impressive zoom-in capabilities for a fine detailed view of artworks.

Other options include:

  • using the "Art Reproduction" limit in Art Source this will allow you to search artworks published in art journals, although you will have to search our Journals A - Z to find if OCAD U has print copy of the journal.
  • try using Summon Search for the title of an art work in quotation marks. Summon uses Google Books metadata to keyword search the full text of books, then will show you results from our OCAD U Library's print collection. In this way, it is more powerful for searching the entire text of a book than our Library Catalogue.
  • realizing that you can create your own digital images using our extensive art and design books! If you find a catalogue raisonné on an artist, then it will include every work produced by him/her/they. The library offers scanning on the premises, or just use your cellphone to take pictures!
  • don't forget that Google Images offers a drag and drop image search, or you can cut and past an image's URL to find citation information. Don't just rely on the keyword image search, which rarely provides accurate citation information and generally seems to only retrieve results from Pinterest! Use the "Search by Image" camera icon to find digital reproductions from art galleries or other academic sources.