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Did you know that Artstor does not own the rights to the images in our collections? When you search Artstor you may be viewing images from multiple sources with differing permitted uses. Some collections might even be from your own institution’s archives and available only to you!

To help you better understand how you can use the images you find, we’ve created a guide to copyright and image use in the Digital Library. Read on to learn about the different sources of images you’ve been working with, and consult our LibGuide to learn the finer details of working with these images.

Artstor Digital Library collections
The 270 collections totaling 2.3 million images in the Artstor Digital Library have been made available through collaboration between Artstor and contributing institutions such as museums, libraries, artists, or archives. Artstor works with contributors to evaluate image quality and enhances the data for each image in order to make it more discoverable in searches. You may be aware that these images are made available for use in educational settings according to Artstor’s Terms and Conditions. But did you also know that as long as your use of these images falls within our permitted uses, Artstor will indemnify you if you ever run into an issue using a Digital Library image?

Public collections

These collections have been shared with the public–not just Artstor subscribers–by the many institutions using JSTOR Forum, Artstor’s media management and cataloging resource. Collection contributors include Cornell University, Ohio State University, Rhode Island School of Design, and more. Because these collections have been made openly available directly by independent institutions, they are not included under the Artstor Digital Library’s indemnification clause or Terms of Use. When you are working with these images you should always check the rights field in the image’s metadata to learn what restrictions, if any, the contributor has applied to their use.

Your institution’s collections

These collections are only available to people using Artstor at your institution. Although broad in scope of content and used differently by each institution, these collections might include content such as art history teaching collections, local archives, faculty and student work, and more. Like Shared Shelf Commons collections, these collections are not included under the Artstor Digital Library’s indemnification clause or Artstor’s Terms of Use. Check the rights field in the image’s metadata to see how you can use the images made available by and for your own institution.

So, how is one to identify which images come from each source? Here’s a handy guide to content sources in Artstor:

Images from public collections are marked with a “Public” icon when viewed in collection pages or search results.

Open images available freely to everyone are marked with an “Open Artstor” icon.

Images that can only be seen at your institution are marked with an “Institutional” icon.

Images from the Artstor Digital Library collections are marked with an “Artstor” icon.

Read our LibGuide, “Copyright and Image Use in the Artstor Digital Library,” for more detailed information about using the images you find on our platform. And if you’re a librarian, feel free to copy it to your own guides!