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How to Find Images & How to Use Them: Introduction

An introduction to searching for images and using them

Saybrook breakwater lightSaybrook Breakwater Light, Old Saybrook, Connecticut, Created by Julie MacNaught.
 CC 2006 BY 3.0 Location: 41° 15' 47" N, 72° 20' 35"

Why does this information matter?

Although a picture can say a thousand words, images do not really explain themselves.  An image needs context to make sense.  When you include information with an image, you add to its credibility and acknowledge an image's creators and publishers.  You can avoid images that are mislabeled, fake, or deceptively edited

Start your search for images by searching Credo ReferenceWikimedia Commons for images, or Creative Commons SearchCredo images come from library digital reference works. Wikimedia Commons images are freely re-usable media files, and are reviewed for authenticity by the Wikimedia community. Creative Commons searches for free content in the public domain, or under Creative Commons licenses.

Google Images is an easy place to start, but terrible place to finish. Google freely mixes copyright, free, genuine, and fake images, and often offers no helpful information about who created an image, or where.  Google Image search results factor in popularity and "page ranking," and you have no assurance that search results present the best version of an image.

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Guide Author

Written by Peter Gavin Ferriby, Ph.D., University Librarian and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies.  Last revised December 2019. Links checked May 20, 2020.

Creative Commons License
How to Find IMages & How to Use Them by Peter Gavin Ferriby is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Wikimedia Commons Images