Your search for images is guided by a few key questions:
1. What type of image do I need?
Deciding exactly what kind of image you’re looking for is important. Is it a map, an illustration, a specific art work or a photograph of a historical event? Making this determination will help you decide which types of databases or search engines to use, but you should also consider using the type of image as part of your keyword search (e.g. map, historical, illustration).
2. What subject area would include the image?
This is an important step because many image databases are subject specific. If you need an image of a patient with rheumatoid arthritis, you probably won’t find what you need in an art related database. That said, there are also large general image collections that can be useful to search as well.
3. Is the image specific or general?
Looking for pictures of a dog is much different from looking for Giacomo Balla’s Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash. If you’re looking for a very specific image, you’ll want to use as much information about the image as possible and a subject oriented database.
[This content is adapted from the University of Michigan Library's Images guide, authored by Rebecca Price.]
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