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Audio, Video, and Image Databases: ARTstor

Tips on how to search the library's multimedia databases and incorporate them into your courses.

What is it?

ARTstor is a nonprofit digital library of more than one million images.

The community-built collections are from:

  • Museums
  • Photographers
  • Libraries
  • Scholars
  • Photo archives
  • Artists/Artists' estates

Fun I

QTVR (Quick Time Virtual Reality) Panorama's of World Architecture

These 360° spherical panoramas document a variety of monuments and sites including:
Pantheon, Domus Aurea, and Forum in Rome, etc.

Search for QTVR

Click on QTVR below the thumbnail image. 

Use your mouse to move the view.

Fun II

3-D images are available for a small number of items.

Search for 3d.

Click on 3-D under the thumbnail image.

Once loaded the image rotates for a 3-D view of object. 


ARTstor's definition of "art" includes:

  • architecture
  • painting
  • photography
  • sculpture
  • decorative arts and design     
  • archeological and anthropological objects
  • visual and material culture

These resources can be used in a range of disciplines beyond the arts: humanities, social sciences, sciences, etc.

ARTstor Links

ARTstor has developed many useful subject guides and tip sheets. 

ARTstor has posted several short instructional videos on YouTube.

  Creating an Account

Create an account or profile if you want to save any images or image groups for viewing later or sharing with students.

Look for the brown box on the upper right.  Select "Not Registered?" to create a new account.

Sign In if you wish to work with your image groups or any of the advance functions (such as downloading the Offline Image Viewer).

However, you do not need to create an account or profile to simply search/browse or view images. 

  Searching and Browsing

Browse Tips:

  • Browsing is a good way to explore all images available by geography, classification (i.e. painting, fashion, architecture, etc.), collection, or sample topic
  • Click on any access point in the BROWSE column on the left side of the homepage or the BROWSE drop-down menu along the top of the page
  • Expand an item by clicking on the + symbol.
  • The numbers in parenthesis indicate the approximate number of images available in that group.

Search Tips:

Tip 1: Keep searches simple and specific.

Tip 2: Word order, case and punctuation are not important. For example, Dale Chihuly may be entered: Chihuly Dale

Tip 3: You can enter more than one term in each search box.

  Viewing Images

On the result page, you can sort images by title, creator or date.

Click on the thumbnail to enlarge item in the image viewer. 

Use the image viewer tool bar to zoom in, rotate as well as to save image to groups, download images, etc.

Click on caption below thumbnail to see detailed information about the item. 

Or you can click on the information icon (i symbol) in the image viewer window. 

Creating Image Groups

1.  Log in to your ARTstor account.

2.  Search or browse ARTstor to find images for your group.

3.  Select images by single-clicking image thumbnails.

4.  In the ARTstor navigation menu click Organize > Save selected images to > New image group.

Or, you may right- (or Control-) click with your mouse to display a shortcut menu. Right-click Save selected images to > New image group. 

5.  A new window will open displaying a list of the folders available to you. Click a folder title to choose a destination for your image group. To expand a folder, click the plus sign (+) next to the folder name. Enter a name for your image group at the bottom of the window.

6.  Click Save at the bottom of the window to save your changes. Or, you can click Save & Open button to view your saved group as a page of thumbnails.

7.  To add additional images to this group, repeat steps #1-4.
In step 4, click Save selected images to > Existing image group.

  Sharing or Embedding Links

You can put a link to any image or image group in any document, website, or Canvas course.

For a single image, you can use one of several methods:

Select/highlight the thumbnail image.  Choose Share from the navigation bar.  Click on Generate Image URL.

OR Select/highlight the thumbnail image.  Right-click on mouse.  Choose Generate Image URL from pop-up menu.

OR Right click on the title info.  Choose Generate Image URL from pop-up menu.

Copy and paste the URL from the pop-up window to your document, website, or Bb course.

For an image group you have created, choose Organize from the navigation bar.

Select image group to open.

Choose Share from the navigation bar.  Click on Generate Image Group URL.

In Canvas, use the Create External Link function to add the Permalink URL.*

*Students and faculty accessing this link from off campus will be required to log in with their W# and library password.

Advance Functions


Offline Image Viewer (OIV) - Software that enables instructors to give reliable classroom presentations using both high-resolution ARTstor images and local content without being connected to the Internet.

Export Images to Powerpoint - Download ARTstor images for use in Powerpoint or other presentation software.

Upload Your Own Images - Create a personal collection of images that can be used alongside ARTstor images.

Instructor Accounts - Uploading your own images and other advanced sharing functions require an Instructor Account.  Contact Frances Hui for LPC's authorization code.