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AFRS 325: The Black Male

Image Search Engines & Metasites

  • Google Image Search:  Advanced search feature allows you to narrow results by usage rights.  Choose the appropriate setting (most common academically is the “free to share or use” option.  If you are going to make changes or adapt the photo choose “ free to share or modify” instead.   You can allow filter the search by size, color, or type such as photo, clip art, or animated drawing. 
  • Wikimedia Commons Part of the Wikipedia family, Wikimedia contains images, video and audio files that are explicitly free to use with public domain and freely-licensed educational media content.  Click on the image to view copyright parameters.   
  • Flickr:  Flickr does not search the web for images but is an online photo management site with individual and institutional participants.  Be sure to change the license settings from Any License to Creative Commons Only.  Hosting various institutions “no known copyright restrictions”, The Commons on Flickr is also useful for historical images. 

FACULTY CANVAS TIP:  An easy way to embed Creative Commons images from Flickr, with attribution, use ImageCodr You provide the Flickr URL and it will generate the correct HTML code, link back to the image, and give attribution.  

Also try Open Attribute browser plug-in which is a tool which allows you to copy and paste the correct attribution for Creative Commons licensed work. 

Website/ Library Digital Collections

These collections of images are available for all users.  You do not need to be a student at CSUN to have access to these collections.  Many are freely available to use for educational purposes; however, it is important to read the permission levels of copyright. 

  •    Library of Congress:
    •  American Memory: Provides access to digital images, prints, maps, and videos that document the American Experience and is organized into 100 thematic collections.  This collection is also divided into easy to browse sections including topic, time period, material type, and location.
    • Prints & Photograph Online Catalog:  Contains photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings.  Scope of the collection is mainly pertaining to United States history, interests, and achievements.  Most records include digital image; however, in some cases there is only a thumbnail image display due to potential copyright considerations
  • ‚ÄčGetty Images Getty Images has recently expanded their open access policy on the bulk of its collection for personal or non-commercial use (only) with attribution. When conducting your search the media type is automatically set for Creative Images, Rights-Managed and Royalty Free. 
  • LIFE Photo Archive (hosted by Google) Includes millions of photographs many in which were never published by LIFE magazine. Its archive stretches back from the 1750’s to today.   
  • New York Public Library Digital Gallery:  Provides free and open access to over 800,000 images containing photographs, drawings, vintage posters, illuminated manuscripts, and historical maps covering a variety of academic disciplines.  Low resolution images can be viewed and used in research projects and presentations.  Permission must be obtained for use of high resolution images.   
    • NYPL's Friedman-Abeles Photograph Collection The images are from Broadway and off-Broadway shows from theatrical productions comprise the majority of the collection, and the images cover various stages of production. Many shows have rehearsal, production, and publicity prints. Some also have images of set construction, costume design, backstage visits, and parties. 

  • Calisphere is a gateway to digital collections from California's great libraries, archives, and museums. Discover over 400,000 images, texts, and recordings—and counting.
  • Unsplash:  Free hish-resolution photos, adding 10 new photos every 10 days.  All photos published on Upsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero. 
  • Siam Costumes' Cutters Guide: The Cutters Guide is a great place to get inspiration for new designs as well as browsing one of the largest collections of rare 19th and 20th century costumes available.
  • Met's Costume Institute: The Costume Institute's collection of more than thirty-three thousand objects represents seven centuries of fashionable dress and accessories for men, women, and children, from the fifteenth century to the present.

Library Databases

All of the below databases are listed under Databases A-Z on the library’s website.  The content in the databases are licensed for educational purposes.  Students, faculty or staff at CSUN do not need additional permission to use images providing its use is educational purposes including instruction, presentations, or assignments.

Citing Images MLA/APA

Attributing the creator is necessary anytime you use an image.  Whether you had to obtain permission or it was freely available to use, it is necessary to give credit to the creator or copyright holder.  Make sure to read the usage rights statements on websites to understand if there is specific wording that needs to be used. 

There are potentially three places you will need to cite.

  • In-Text Citation
  • Image Caption
  • Works Cited or References  

Consult the style guide examples in this guide for examples. 

Citing Images MLA

  • All visual illustrations/images (except for maps, diagrams, charts, tables, etc.) should be labeled Fig or Figure, then an Arabic numeral that corresponds to the figure.  (ex. Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc.)
  • When referring the figure (in-text) do not capitalize fig or figure.
  • Figure captions provide titles or explanatory notes.
  • If the caption includes the complete bibliographic information about the source (and the source is not cited in text) no entry for the source in the works cited is necessary.
  • MLA no longer requires the URL in the citation. If an instructor requires the use of URL’s, MLA suggests placing angle brackets (<>) around the URL.
  • You will need to include as much information as possible

Web Only Image

  • Name of creator/creator/username of the image.
  • Title of image (in quotation marks) If no title exists create a brief descriptive title. 
  • Medium of work. (ex. illustration, map, cartoon, photograph, etc)
  • Date of resource creation (if available)
  • Title of webpage or article.
  • Name of site (in italics)
  • Larger Institution or organization (if applicable) 

In text

The aurora borealis (see fig.1) is a natural multicolor light display produced by solar wind particles seem in high latitude regions. 

Image Caption

Fig. 1. “Aurora Over Calgary and Spokane.” NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.    

Works Cited Example 

Last-name, First-name or Username. “Title of Image.”  Medium of work. Date of resource creation. Name of site. URL

Works Cited

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. “Aurora Over Calgary and Spokane.” Photograph. 19 Feb. 2012. Flickr.

Citing Images APA

  • All visual illustrations/images should be labeled Figure, and then numbered consecutively in italics.  (ex. Figure 1).
  • When referring the figure (in-text), make sure to capitalize Figure.  Do not refer to the image as “the figure below” or “the figure above.”
  • Image should be centered in the paper.
  • Image captions include title of image and a brief explanation.  Also provide source and copyright information.
  •  Do not put a period after the URL

You will need to provide as much information as possible.

  • Name of creator/creator/username of the image.
  • Role of the creator in parenthesis such as artist, sculptor, etc.
  • Year of creation in parenthesis. If there is no date available put (n.d.)
  • Title of image (in italics). If there is no title, create a description of the work.
  • Type of work (ex. illustration, map, cartoon, photograph, etc)
  • Retrieved from URL or database name

In text 

The aurora borealis (see Figure 1) is a natural multicolor light display produced by solar wind particles seem in high latitude regions

Image Caption

Figure 1. Aurora Over Calgary and Spokane. This figure illustrates the aurora borealis aboard the International Space Station.  Image credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center via Flickr.

Example References  

Last-name, first-name initial. (Year of creation). Title of image or description of work. [Type of work]. Website. URL


NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. (2012) Aurora Over Calgary and Spokane. [Digital Image].  Flickr.

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