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Online Reference Sources for Cataloging Visual Materials


Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 20540-4730

Librarians and archivists who describe photographs, cartoons, posters, drawings, prints, and other visual materials rely on a wide variety of Web-based reference sources to gather or confirm cataloging data. This selected list covers sources that can help you discover information about the creators, subjects, and geographical locations that commonly occur with still pictures. The list also cites tools for recognizing and translating foreign languages; for converting measurements and dates; for identifying formats and types of visual materials; and for dating images.

The selected resources represent free Web sites used by Library of Congress staff to catalog material in a general documentary picture collection. Many of the sites feature visual images for easy comparison to what you are cataloging. Suggestions for additional resources are welcome. Subscription-based internet resources are also valuable and should be consulted when available. Most subscription databases at the Library of Congress are available only for on-site access.

For a list of standards and tools used to create catalog records, see the "Visual Materials: Cataloging and Processing Bibliography."

Disclaimer icon The Library of Congress does not maintain most of these sites. Users should direct concerns about these links to their respective site administrators or webmasters.

Table of Contents

General

Digital Librarian: A Librarian's Choice of the Best of the Web
http://www.digital-librarian.com/

Flickr (pictures of many places and events) new
http://www.flickr.com/

Google Maps (for geographic information and also photos of buildings) new
https://maps.google.com/

Internet Public Library
http://www.ipl.org/

OAIster (University of Michigan) -- digital images from many sources
http://www.oclc.org/oaister.en.html

Picture Catalogs Online
http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/resource/223_piccat.html

Symbols
http://www.symbols.com/

Wikimedia Commons (freely usable media files) new
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Art and Architecture

ArchNet - Islamic Architecture (Massachusets Institute of Technology)
http://archnet.org/library/

Catalogue of American Engravings (American Antiquarian Society)
http://catalog.mwa.org:7108/

Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
http://decorativearts.library.wisc.edu/index.html

Early American Paintings (Worcester Art Museum)
http://www.worcesterart.org/Collection/Early_American/

Great Buildings Collection
http://www.greatbuildings.com/

Legendary Lighthouses new
http://www.pbs.org/legendarylighthouses/

Maritime Heritage Programnew
http://www.nps.gov/history/maritime/

Mother of all Art History (University of Michigan)
http://umich.edu/~motherha/index.html

Biography

Creators of Pictures (Architects, Artists, and Photographers)

AIA Historical Directory of American Architects new
http://public.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/

Art Cyclopedia -- famous painters, sculptors, and photographers and art movements
http://www.artcyclopedia.com/

Don Markstein’s Toonopedia (cartoons and characters)
http://www.toonopedia.com/index.htm

PhotographyDatabase.org (biographical information for photographers) new
http://photographydatabase.org/about.html

Getty Union List of Artist Names Online
http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/ulan/index.html

World Wide Arts Resources -- art history resources for artists and art movements
http://worldwideartsresources.com/artists/index.html

People Shown in Pictures

American Presidents: Life Portraits (C-SPAN)
http://www.americanpresidents.org/

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
http://bioguide.congress.gov/biosearch/biosearch.asp

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database (National Park Service)
http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm

First Ladies (C-SPAN) new
http://firstladies.c-span.org/

Find a Grave
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gs&

Social Security Death Index
http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3693

Who's Alive and Who's Dead
http://www.whosaliveandwhosdead.com/

Clothing and Dress

Costumer's Manifesto
http://www.costumes.org/history/100pages/costhistpage.htm

La Couturière Parisienne (Middle Ages to 1950s)
http://www.marquise.de/

Solemates: The Century in Shoes (20th century)
http://www.centuryinshoes.com

Conversion Tables (Dates, Measures, and Transliterations)

ALA-LC Romanization Tables
http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/roman.html

Dates across several calendars (Calendrical Calculator)
http://www.ortelius.de/kalender/form_en2.php

Date and day of week in different years
http://www.calendarhome.com/calculate

Measuring unit conversions
http://convert.french-property.co.uk/index.php

http://www.onlineconversion.com/length_common.htm

http://www.metric-conversions.org/

Roman numeral conversion (Lee’s Useless Roman Numeral Converter) new
http://home.hiwaay.net/~lkseitz/math/roman/

Roman numeral dates
http://www2.inetdirect.net/~charta/Table.html

Time and date (includes world clock)
http://www.timeanddate.com

Dictionaries, Thesauruses, and Translators

Anagrams
http://www.wordsmith.org/anagram/index.html

Archival and Records Terminology (Society of American Archivists)
http://www2.archivists.org/glossary

Art Terms
http://www.artlex.com/

http://www.kqfineart.com/glossary/index.html#glossarytop

British Museum Object Names Thesaurus
http://www.collectionslink.org.uk/discover/manage-information/1071-british-museum-object-names-thesaurus

Dictionary, Thesaurus, & Translator
http://www.yourdictionary.com/

MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/meshhome.html

Merriam-Webster
http://www.merriam-webster.com/home.htm

Multilingual Glossary for Art Librarians
http://www.ifla.org/VII/s30/pub/mg1.htm

Omniglot: A Guide to Written Language
http://www.omniglot.com/index.htm

Taxonomies
http://www.taxonomywarehouse.com/

Translation
Babelfish new
http://www.babelfish.com/

Google translate new
http://translate.google.com/

Ultralingua
http://www.ultralingua.com/onlinedictionary/

Geography

Columbia Gazetteer of the World
http://www.columbiagazetteer.org/

David Rumsey Map Collection (historical maps) new
http://www.davidrumsey.com/

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online (“places important to art and architecture”)
http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/tgn/index.html

Geographic Names Information System (United States Board on Geographic Names; select “Search Domestic Names)
http://geonames.usgs.gov/

GeoNet Names Server (for features outside the United States)
http://earth-info.nga.mil/gns/html/

Place name dictionaries (University of Washington Libraries)
http://www.lib.washington.edu/subject/maps/dr/eldic.html

University of Texas Map Collection
http://www.lib.washington.edu/subject/Maps/dr/eldic.HTML

History and Culture

United States

Chronicling America (Historic American Newspapers, to 1922) new
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/

Documents
http://www.ushistory.org/documents/index.html

Internet Public Library (Search for American History)
http://www.ipl.org/div/subject/

World

Disasters
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001437.html

General History
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/browse/wwwhistory/

Library of Congress Country Studies
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/cshome.html

Middle East Virtual Library
http://www.menalib.de/

Timelines of History
http://timelines.ws/

Victorian Dictionary (text and images, with maps for orientation to 19th century London)
http://www.victorianlondon.org/

Media Identification

Alternative Photography
http://www.alternativephotography.com/wp/

Art & Architecture Thesaurus
http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/aat/index.html

Atlas of Analytical Signatures of Photographic Processes  new
http://www.getty.edu/conservation/publications_resources/pdf_publications/atlas.html

Digital Print Identification
http://cool.conservation-us.org/coolaic/sg/emg/juergens/

http://cool.conservation-us.org/coolaic/sg/bpg/annual/v15/bp15-08.html

Graphic Witness (illustrations and political cartoons)
http://graphicwitness.org/ineye/index2.htm

Graphics Atlas (print and photograph identification tools) new
http://www.graphicsatlas.org/

Moving image genre list
http://www.loc.gov/rr/mopic/miggen.html

Thesaurus for Graphic Materials II: Genre & Physical Characteristic Terms
http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/tgm2/

Works on Paper at the Spencer
http://www.spencerart.ku.edu/collection/print/

Mythology

Encyclopedia Mythica
http://www.pantheon.org/mythica.html

Greek Mythology Link (Iconography)
http://www.maicar.com/GML/000Iconography/000Iconography.html

Mythography (Greek, Roman, and Celtic)
http://www.loggia.com/myth/myth.html

Theoi Project: Guide to Greek Gods, Spirits, & Monsters
http://www.theoi.com/

Nature

Animals A to Zoo
http://animal.discovery.com/wild-animals

Mountain peaks
http://www.peakware.com/

National parks (United States)
http://www.nps.gov/index.htm

Plants database
http://plants.usda.gov/java/

Performing Arts

Movies
http://www.imdb.com/

http://www.silentera.com/index.html

Theater
http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Ephemera.html

Theater on Broadway (Internet Broadway Database)
http://www.ibdb.com/

Religion

Catholic Encyclopedia
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/

Jewish Virtual Library
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/index.html

Religious Studies Web Guide
http://www.ucalgary.ca/%7Elipton/subject.html

Saints and Angels new
http://www.catholic.org/saints/

Sports

Baseball (Society for American Baseball Research—players, teams, and parks) new
http://sabr.org/bioproj/browse

Baseball parks
http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/

Baseball players
http://www.baseball-reference.com/

Boxing
http://www.cyberboxingzone.com/boxing/hist-idx.htm

Transportation

Automobiles

HubcapCafe (Antique and Classic Car Photo Galleries) new
http://www.hubcapcafe.com/ocs/cs_index.htm

Serious Wheels (class to contemporary cars) new
http://www.seriouswheels.com/

Ships

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/index.html

Great Lakes Ships (photo gallery)
http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/

Historic Naval Ships
http://www.hnsa.org/index.htm

Passenger Ships of the Great Lakes
http://www.mhsd.org/passenger/

U.S. Naval Institute
http://photos.usni.org


Compiled by Arden Alexander and Woody Woodis, Catalogers, Technical Services Section, 2004. Last updated: December 2013


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