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Art History: Finding Images

ART and ART HISTORY: A Beginning a guide to Mendocino College library resources in art and art history

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More on Fair Use

The Visual Resources Association--a professional association of image managers--has released a Statement on the Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research, and Study. This document decribes guidelines for students and faculty wanting to use images in a research setting.

http://www.vraweb.org/organization/pdf/VRAFairUseGuidelinesFinal.pdf

Image Resources

The sites below offer excellent images for research in art and art history and are especially good for illustrating a research paper or creating a class presentation. See the Web Resources tab for many other resources.

African & Asian Visual Artists Archive -- A comprehensive archive of contemporary visual art by artists of African and Asian descent working in the UK since the post-war period. Most of the Archive has migrated here. The archive houses over 6,000 slides of artworks and exhibitions. 

American Memory Project -- Created by the Library of Congress, American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States, with over 7 million digital items from 100 historical collections. Most of the Archive has migrated here. For copyright information go here.

Art Images for College Teaching -- AICT is a personal, non-profit project of its author, art historian and visual resources curator Allan T. Kohl, intended primarily to disseminate images of art and architectural works in the public domain on a free-access, free-use basis to all levels of the educational community, as well as to the public at large. 

Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) -- A well-designed site with focus on fashion, craft, 2D design, and contemporary artists working in the UK and internationally. Repository for many specail collections in the UK.

Web Gallery of Art -- WGA is a virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture from 11th to mid-19th centuries. Content focuses on the Renaissance period, the Medieval roots of the period and its evolution to Baroque and Rococo via Mannerism."The Web Gallery of Art is copyrighted as a database. Images and documents downloaded from this database can only be used for educational and personal purposes. Distribution of the images in any form is prohibited without the authorization of their legal owner." 

National Gallery of Canada -- National Gallery of Canada's hosts its permanent collection of Canada's visual arts heritage. This virtual museum contains over 20,000 images of works of the Gallery's permanent collection as well as video and audio recordings of Canadian artists. Educational use permitted.

"Light Painting LED" by Beo Beyond is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Copyright information

Images are integral to art scholarship and greatly enhance presentations and learning. Be sure you understand the concept of "fair use" before you use or repurpose images into your work.

Fair use is generally defined as the allowance to use copyrighted material in a fair manner without obtaining permission from the copyright holder. For educational purposes (research papers, classroom presentations, etc.) always cite the original work! This may take the form of in–text citations, a references page, an addendum to presentation, etc. If you are planning to use your work beyond the classroom (educational), on the web, for commercial (for-profit) purposes, etc., you should obtain permission from the copyright holder for all copyrighted works used in your work (including derivative uses); not obtaining permission is a violation of US copyright.

There are four factors that impact the justification for Fair Use (Section 107 of US Copyright Law).

1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes. This refers to: 

Whether the work is for educational use, whether there is profit from the use of the work, whether the use is credited (cited), level of access to the work, whether the use is for criticism, commentary, or news reporting, how derivative the use of the work is. 

2. The nature of the copyrighted work. This refers to: 

Whether the work is published, how creative the original work is, whether the work is fiction or non-fiction.

3. Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole. This refers to: 

How much of the original work is used, how important the portion used is to the original work. 

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. This refers to: 

Whether the use will impede or prevent the copyright holder from profiting from their work.

A good rule of thumb is to check a website for specific guidelines on permissions. Websites with image content that is copyrighted will usually state the parameters that they consider fair use for their content. Read this information to better understand how to cite the content you are using. Again,always cite your sources.

This page was adapted from the site on Visual Resources developed by Dan McClure and Tricia Juettemeyer at: http://sites.google.com/site/budgetvr/

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