Artstor provides access to much more than art images.

Nov 14, 2018 · Jeff Alger

Artstor is an image database that ISU Libraries subscribes to. Despite its name, there is much more than just images of art in it. Artstor provides access to 2.5+ million images arranged in over 280 collections, all of which are provided with rights to use for educational purposes. Collections include topics such as art (obviously), architecture, history of medicine and natural science, fashion and costume, theater, music history, religion, and world history to name a few.

Images include full metadata (information about the image) including what use rights are associated with the image. See the Artstor Terms and Conditions of Use for more information on the terms of use and associated copyrights. There is a regularly scheduled webinar on the Artstor terms of use and how it applies to the various types of images. For instance, while most of the images are restricted to utilization in teaching and learning settings, Artstor has a number of Images for Academic Publishing (IAP) that can be used free of charge in scholarly publications. More information can be found in Artstor support on copyright and restrictions, including IAP.

In addition to the Artstor Digital Library, which is available only to subscribing institutions, Artstor provides access to over one million images in public collections via JSTOR Forum software. These collections are uploaded from institutions around the world. Collections include such things as Historic Glacial Images of Alaska and Greenland (physical geographers may find that useful), Martin Methodist College Marine Biology from Trinidad and Key Largo, Wheaton College Shell Collection, Bard College Montgomery Place Historic Tools, Allegheny College Civil War Sketchbook, City College of New York Anti-war Notices 1934-36, and many others. Find the public collections within the Browse drop-down menu on the Artstor tool bar.

Artstor allows registered users to upload personal images into the platform for use in their teaching or learning and institutions can provide Institutional Collections that can either be public, like those listed above, or for that particular institution using JSTOR Forum (ISU currently has none of these). More information is available from the JSTOR Forum.

A few resources for getting started

Artstor includes several teaching resources such as Curriculum Guides, Subject Guides, and Webinars. The webinars are usually around 45 minutes in length and are available in an on-demand format following the live webinar. Find links to these materials at Artstor support.

 “Artstor across the disciplines” is an online guide provided by Artstor that highlights 20 disciplines and provides links to curated visual images collections that enhance the study and teaching of those disciplines. The guide includes links to several documents outlining using visual images for teaching and learning.

The Artstor Blog and monthly newsletter are great ways to find out about new things happening with Artstor.

Finally, as mentioned in the opening sentence, Artstor is more than art images. See the Brooklyn College Listening Project for oral history audio files or the Albright College - UNAP Video Collection as examples of uses for Artstor other than images. Both can be found in the Public Collections.