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Artstor Instructors Guide

Tips for Searching Artstor Digital Library

Searching Artstor: Some Tips

The Artstor Digital Library contains more than 2 million images, so it's important that you help your students learn good searching skills. There are many different ways you can search for content in Artstor, including:

  • browsing by geography, classification, or collection
  • keyword and filtered search
  • advanced search

A few key search tips you may want to share:

  • Use quotations ("civil war") to search for exact phrases 
  • Geography always refers to a creator's country of birth, except for architecture/built environment images, which are based on geographic location
  • Use wildcards to broaden your search
    • Asterisk wildcard: trap* returns results for trap, trapping, trapper, trappist 
    • Question mark wildcard: advis?r returns results for adviser and advisor

Citing Images

Information about Citing Images

Citing images can be tricky. There are many wonderful online help resources available which we encourage you to share with students. 

The Library of Congress provides a great overview of how to cite images/primary source materials like paintings, photographs, and documents in Chicago, MLA, and APA styles. Read more here:

Your university's librarians are a tremendous resource for learning how to cite images and other sources--reach out to them with further questions!

Using Artstor Digital Library's Citation Tool

Citation Tool

Artstor Digital Library features a handy tool to help you save your image citations.

To save citations, highlight image thumbnails in your search results, then go to the top menu: "Tools" > "Save citations for selected images." Back in the "Tools" menu, select "View and export citations." You can send your citations to EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Refworks, or simply view them in printer-friendly format.

Downloading Images

Downloading Images for Papers

Encourage your students to create a registered Artstor Digital Library account so they can download images. (A video showing how to register for an account lives here on our YouTube channel.)

To download an image for a paper, open the image from your search results in the Image Viewer. In the lower right corner, click the disk icon (highlighted here in red). Accept the terms of use, and your image will begin to download.

Demonstrate to your students during class and help them get started using copyright-cleared images in their papers and presentations!