How to Find Images

Using Image-Related Subject Headings

Usually, library catalog records for books have at least one subject heading describing the general topic of the book, video, or other material. Some subjects to browse for image resources include:

Art and Photography are very broad areas. Consider the Related Subjects (the first item in the above subject searches) or look at a geographical breakdown, such as Art, American, Architecture -- United States, or Photography--New York.

You might also add "Pictorial Works" to a known subject to help locate resources that contain images. For example African Americans -- Pictorial Works or Trilobites -- Pictorial Works will bring you to image based resources on those topics.

Using Advanced Searching

The Advanced Search allows you to combine keywords and subject headings. Try using these parts of a subject heading with keywords:

  • Exhibitions
  • ... in Art
  • Pictorial Works


  • subject: exhibitions AND any field: furniture
  • subject: in art AND any field: circus
  • subject: pictorial works AND any field: fashion

Looking at the Full Library Catalog Record

After you have done a search, click on the full record for the item to get more information about the book. Look particularly at the Format field.  You might see something that looks like:

viii, 120 p., [98] p. of plates : ill., facsims., frontis., ports. ; 23 cm.

This means that the book has:

  • 8 prefatory pages numbered with Roman numerals
  • 120 numbered pages of text
  • 98 unnumbered pages of plates (illustrative material on a different grade of paper bound together but separate from the text)
  • The plates include illustrations, facsimiles, frontispiece and portraits.
  • The book is 23 centimeters tall

Other common image words in the physical description:

  • maps
  • plans