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Library - Visual Resources Collection Guide: Find Images in the Library

A guide to the services and resources of NSCAD's Visual Resources Collection.

Image Hunting Tips

The first tip to finding good quality images is to consider the source: while it is possible to type keywords into a search engine and find hundreds of versions of the image you are seeking, there are no guarantees the image you need will be of good quality or even reliably titled.  Using established image collections will provide detailed, authoritative contextual information and (in most cases) a defined standard of image quality. 

At NSCAD, there are a few ways to search and find images using high quality image sources:


FADIS is a digital image database available to staff and students of NSCAD University.  It is hosted at the University of Toronto, and contains more than 100,000 digital images and videos. To register with FADIS, please send a request to Rebecca Young, Visual Resources Librarian:

To learn more about FADIS check out the NSCAD FADIS Library Guide.


NSCAD subscribes to Artstor, an image library for the arts and sciences.  It contains more than a million images of art and architecture for teaching and research. To register, please go here

To learn more about Artstor check out the NSCAD Artstor Library Guide.

*Both FADIS and ARTstor require registration; send an email to for information. 

(image copyright Mitchell Wiebe, used with permission from artist)

Art and Architecture Source

Use the Art and Architecture Source database to find images by entering a search term or keywords (ex. Martha Rosler, or, Cubism), then select the "image quick view" types of your choosing.  Click the Search button and see your results.

Print Resources

Search the NSCAD Library's collection in Novanet, to find books, exhibition catalogues, journals and magazines for images.

Other Image Databases

Many libraries, archives, museums, and galleries provide digital access to their collections.  Check out NSCAD's guide to open web image collections to start your search.  Before using images from these collections check and confirm terms of use and licensing conditions.

Subject Guide

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Rebecca Young
NSCAD Library
5163 Duke Street
Halifax NS
B3J 3J6
Subjects: Copyright, Craft, Film, Library