database review: Artstor

Artstor is a non-profit organization that builds and distributes the Digital Library, an online resource of more than 2 million images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences, and Shared Shelf, a Web-based cataloging and image management software service that allows institutions to catalog, edit, store, and share local collections.

Artstor provides faculty and students with a complete image resource in a wide array of subjects with the breadth and depth to add context and examine influences beyond the confines of your discipline.

With approximately 300 collections composed of over 2.5 million images (and growing), scholars can examine wide-ranging material such as Native American art from the Smithsonian, treasures from the Louvre, and panoramic, 360-degree views of the Hagia Sophia in a single, easy-to-use resource.

Artstor also supports study across disciplines, including anthropology from Harvard’s Peabody Museum, archaeology from Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Art Archives, and modern history from Magnum Photos, making it a resource for your whole institution.

The Artstor Digital Library provides straightforward access to curated images from reliable sources that have been rights-cleared for use in education and research — you are free to use them in classroom instruction and handouts, presentations, student assignments, and other noncommercial educational and scholarly activities.

And unlike results from Google or other search engines, the images come with high-quality metadata from the collection catalogers, curators, institutions, and artists themselves.

The digital Artstor library is here :, you can also get Artstor through

ARTstor users must create a free account to save and share images. Users must turn off the popup blocker.

There are a few features of Artstor: 1. you can quickly download groups of images into PowerPoint presentations with citation data in the notes field–each image links directly back to Artstor, allowing you to zoom in on details. 2. IIIF image viewer allows you to view images full screen and to compare up to 10 items at once while zooming in on details. 3. Curate groups of images for lectures and papers, access and download them from anywhere, and share them in many formats–even on your course management system.4. With the click of a button, students can turn image groups into flashcards using quiz mode or generate automatic image citations in APA, MLA, an Chicago styles.


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