Information Services

Image and Moving Images Databases

Find still and moving images (also audio material in some cases) from the resources below. You may be able to limit your results to be of material published under Creative Commons or other copyright cleared conditions. However, check the re-use policy of anything before you use it.

Academic Video Online (Alexander St Press/ProQuest)

Access information:

Access on and off campus


Academic Video Online is a multidisciplinary collection of videos that touches on the curriculum needs of virtually every department. With thousands of thousands of titles available now and 400 new titles per month, this collection is unmatched in its breadth. Academic Video Online allows students and researchers alike to analyse unique and valuable content from over 500 producers and distributors around the world.



Amica Library

Access information: Available on and off campus. NB full resolution access to the images is only available on campus.
Description: A collection of over 108,000 high quality images from North American art museums, presented using the Luna Insight browser.


ARAS: The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism

Access Information: Access on and off campus
Description: The ARAS archive contains about 17,000 photographic images, each cross-indexed, and accompanied by scholarly commentary. The commentary includes a description of the image with a cultural history that serves to place it in its unique historical and geographical setting. Often it also includes an archetypal commentary that brings the image into focus for its modern psychological and symbolic meaning, as well as a bibliography for related reading and a glossary of technical terms. This online resource will be of particular interest to students and staff of Edinburgh College of Art, and the Schools of History, Classics and Archaeology, and Literature, Languages and Culture.



Access information:

Access on or off campus.

Description: A Reference tool for the History of Culture:  Arkyves is a database, treasure trove and toolbox for those interested in the History of Culture. It is a single access point for thematic searches across a wide variety of cultural heritage collections, contributed by partners like the Dutch Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands Institute for Art History, the Herzog August Bibliothek, and the university libraries of Milan, Utrecht, Glasgow, and Illinois. Ordering and re-ordening motifs, themes, stories and iconographic details in kaleidoscopic fashion Arkyves will make you find many things you did not realize you were looking for.



Access information: Access on and off-campus.
Description: ARTstor is a digital library of images covering the arts, architecture, humanities, and social sciences. The collections comprise contributions from outstanding museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, and artists and artists' estates. If you wish to download images for your own scholarly use you will need to Register with ARTstor, once you have logged in with EASE. By registering your email address and creating a password you will create a profile which will allow you to download images and save images to folders as part of "My ARTstor". Note: To register for an ARTstor account, you must be on-site at your institution, or logged in through your institution's proxy server.
Coverage: One million plus digital images.


BFI InView

Access Information: Access on and off campus
Description: BFI InView is an online resource which offers a unique window on Britain’s changing political, economic and social landscape in the age of film and television.
Coverage: 1000 hours of non-fiction moving image titles from 1900 - 2005, alongside 8000 pages of related documents.
Further information: Everything can be downloaded for internal use within universities except the Parliamentary material where access is only via streaming.


Bloomsbury Fashion Photography Archive

Access Information: Access on or off campus.

Bloomsbury Fashion Photography Archive is an online resource containing more than 750,000 newly-digitized and high-quality runway, backstage, and street style images, curated by Editor in Chief Valerie Steele, Director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, in New York.

An extensive collection of fashion photographs, for use by students and educators, the archive includes images of international runway shows from the 1970s until the early 2000s, from over 400 designers; key collections from McQueen, Gaultier, Westwood, Chalayan, Galliano, etc; rare backstage and front row shots from fashion shows of the past forty years; and street-style images from global fashion cities. The Archive’s index and interactive time line allow students to compare and trace trends, designers, and seasons.


Bloomsbury Screen Studies

Access information:

Access on and off campus.


Bloomsbury Screen Studies offers a broad range of content to support moving-image studies. It comprises award-winning screenplays, presented in industry-standard studio format, from ‘Orlando’ to ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. It also includes critical and contextual books on film from the late nineteenth century to the present, and an interactive timeline of cinema history. It is an essential resource for academics and students engaged in research and learning around film history, theory and practice.


Box of Broadcasts

Access Information: Access on and off campus
Description: BoB (Box of Broadcasts) enables all staff and students in subscribing institutions to choose and record any broadcast programme from 60+ TV and radio channels. The recorded programmes are then kept indefinitely (no expiry) and added to a growing media archive (currently at over 1 million programmes), with all content shared by users across all subscribing institutions.


Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Over 1.3 million images from museums, galleries, private collections and contemporary artists all copyright cleared for educational use. Bridgeman Education gives you access to the visual culture of every civilization and every period from Prehistory to the present day across continents and civilisations.


British Cartoon Archive

Access information. Free access on and off campus. You will be prompted to select University of Edinburgh and then your EASE login when downloading images.
Description. The British Cartoon Archive, from the University of Kent at Canterbury, exists to encourage and facilitate the study of cartoons and caricatures published in the United Kingdom. This is achieved by collecting, preserving, cataloguing, exhibiting, and distributing the work of cartoonists and caricaturists, and by encouraging and publishing studies of their art. The BCA database contains details of the main cartoon collections held in the archive which can be searched online. Cartoons can be found under any of the cataloguing terms used (eg cartoonist, publication, date, name or subject). The database gives access to cartoon images and catalogue information. For publication purposes, digital images with supporting copyright details can be ordered through the feedback section of the website.
Coverage. The database is a unique archive of over 140,000 pieces of cartoon artwork published in the UK.


British Library Sounds

Access information: Access on and off campus. Choose University of Edinburgh as your home organisation and if prompeted login with EASE.
Description: Archival Sound Recordings offers selections of music, spoken word and environmental sounds from the British Library Sound Archive available online to UK Higher and Further Education. There are currently over 4000 hours of recordings, with more being added over the coming year. Highlights include in-depth oral history interviews, pre-1957 classical music recordings, ethnomusicological field recordings, accents and dialects, whildlife sounds, radio programmes, public debates, and early recordings originally captured on wax cylinders. Archival Sound Recordings offers a broad range of cross-disciplinary, primary source material for researchers. For teachers it provides engaging, thought-provoking material for lessons and a tool for teaching key skills to students of all levels.


British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC)

Access Information: Access on and off campus. Some resources on BUFVC require sign in - click sign in, enter "University of Edinburgh" in the search box and if prompted sign in with your EASE username and password.

BUFVC provides a range of services to promote the production, study and use of film and related media for education and research. Services and projects include:

  • Television and Radio Index for Learning and Teaching (TRILT);
  • News on Screen - a resource for the study of news reels and cinemagazines (1910-1983) complete with Pathe film clips where they exist;
  • the subject-based Moving Image Gateway.
Coverage: International.


Digital Theatre Plus

Access information:

Access on and off campus


Digital Theatre+ provides access to 600+ theatre productions and supporting educational resources, with over 300 videos of quality live performances of classic, contemporary and international productions.


Drama Online

Access information:

Access on and off campus.


Drama Online is a digital library of the world’s most studied and critically-acclaimed plays, accompanied by a wealth of innovative teaching and performance tools, critical analysis, contextual information, references and practical texts. We have subscribed to following components:


Nick Hern Books Collection : Over 500 modern plays from specialist theatre publisher Nick Hern Books featuring pre-eminent playwrights including Howard Brenton, Jez Butterworth, and Caryl Churchill.


The RSC Live Collection: 17 films of live productions from the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2013 to the cutting-edge 2016-17 production of The Tempest starring Simon Russell-Beale


Shakespeare's Globe On Screen (2008-2015): 21 films recorded live on the Globe stage from leading actors including Mark Rylance, Stephen Fry, and Roger Allam’s Olivier Award-winning Falstaff in Henry IV


Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen 2 (2016-2018): Features landmark productions from the Globe Theatre’s most recent seasons, including the first production from the indoor Jacobean theatre, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in 2014


ECA Library Image Collection

Access to the University network via the VPN

Access information: Available on campus. Access off campus via the VPN - see above.
Description: The ECA Library Image Collection is a database of over 6,000 high-quality images, selected to support study and teaching at Edinburgh College of Art. The subject areas covered include Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Art and Design, including contemporary practice.



Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Funded by the European Commission, the Europeana portal provides access to millions of digitised books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records from all over Europe. Use Europeana to explore major European collections including collections from Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the British Library and the Louvre as well as regional archives and local museums from every member of the EU.



Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: The EUscreen portal offers free online access to thousands of items of audiovisual heritage. It brings together clips that provide an insight into the social, cultural, political and economic events that have shaped the 20th and 21st centuries. As well as chronicling important historical events, the EUscreen portal allows you to explore television programmes that focus on everyday experience


Access information: Free access on and off-campus from The Freeze Frame website.
Description: Searchable collection of digitised photographs taken in both Arctic and Antarctic expeditions and held in the collection of The Scott Polar Research Institute in the University of Cambridge. All image captions are taken from original sources, where known. Collection may also be browsed by date, expedition or photographer. Resource section puts selected images in context. Images available for purchase.
Coverage: 1845-1982. - Learning & Teaching

Access information:

Freely available.


Approximately 25,000 video clips of people talking about their experiences of more than 90 different health issues.

Interviews conduted by researchers from the University of Oxford.


Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives


Henry Stewart Talks - Biomedical and Life Sciences

Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Biomedical and Life Sciences Collection of over 550 seminar style talks by leading world experts. All of the seminars have been specially commissioned from leading scientists and are presented in a user-friendly format of animated slides with synchronized narration.


Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Business and Management Collection.  The collection contains over 900 specially prepared, animated, online, audio-visual lectures and case studies by leading experts from commerce, industry, the professions and academia. All lectures and case studies are suitable for inclusion in courses and as additional learning material including in blended learning and flipped classroom programmes, and may be included in Moodle, Blackboard and other Online Learning Environments.


Access information: On campus access. Off campus access available via VPN. For access information please follow link above.
Description: A collaboration between University of Edinburgh Library and the History of Art unit of the School of Arts, Culture and Environment, University of Edinburgh. Contains c. 3,000 images augmented by the 115,000 images available simultaneously from the AMICA Library.


Access information: Free access on and off-campus from Flickr
Description: Photos and drawings sourced from more than 600 million library book pages scanned in by the Internet Archive organisation.
Coverage: Copyright free on the basis image sources are from 1500s to 1922.


Macmillan Cancer Support - Stories

Access information: Freely available.
Description: Written and video experiences of cancer patients, survivors, family, carers and healthcare professionals.
Copyright: For information purposes and for your non-commercial, personal use only.



Access information: Access on or off campus
Description: Free-at-the-point-of-use images, video and audio content licensed for educational and research use accessed from a single interface. Collections included cover a range of subject areas.

Includes access to Getty Images and a range of newsreels including, ITN, Gaumont, British Paramount, Channel 4 and Reuters. Also material from Imperial War Museum, Wellcome Library, Royal Geographical Society & St George's Hospital Medical School, plus various Art & Design collections. Resouces include streamed videos and digital images.

Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: One of the largest online audio-visual catalogues of classical music, opera and dance, consisting of a library of contemporary and historic performances, documentaries on composers and artists, and other interesting resources for Music scholars.  More than 100 live events are broadcast each year, in partnership with the world's most prestigious venues,  opera houses, festivals and competitions.
Coverage: 3000 classical music videos: concerts, operas, ballets, archives, documentaries, artist profiles, master classes and educational programmes.


Access information: Freely available
Description: More than fifty thousand images of the National Portrait Gallery's Collections available for academic use. Low resolution images are available to copy and distribute via a Creative Commons licence and higher resolution ones via a more restrictive Academic Licence. Look at specific pictures' "Use this image" information.


Access information: Freely available
Description: Some Original educational documentaries are available for one-time educational screenings.  Please click the link above to view the list and licensing conditions.


Access information: Access on and off campus
Description: Openly available licensed datasets from several cultural institutions, including the British Library. All collections provide digital scans or photos that can be freely used without any restrictions.


Access information: Access on or off campus
Description: More than 700,000 images from Optical Society of America's core journals
Copyright: Images can be exported and may be used for noncommercial purposes only. Read the Image Detail information or contact OSA.


Oxford Art Online

Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Oxford Art Online gives access to an expanding range of Oxford University Press art reference works: Grove Art Online, the Benezit Dictionary of Artists, the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, all of which can be cross-searched or individually searched. Oxford Art Online can also be used as an image search tool.
Coverage: Prehistory to the present day.


Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Almost 2,000 key titles from the film collection acquired by the US Library of Congress from the collection's founder, Rick Prelinger. The ephemeral (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) films from between 1927-1987 are public domain and made available under creative commons licence for free downloading and reuse. All subjects.


Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Fifty training videos for mental health professionals. Individual titles are recorded in DiscoverEd but include series on Evidence-Based Treatment Planning, Psychotherpay Essentials, Understanding Group Psychotherapy, Assessment and Treatment of Psychological Disorders and Psychotherapy with the Experts which investigates how much therapy has to do with the style and personality of the therapist versus their theoretical model.


Public Health Image Library (PHIL)

Access information: Freely available.
Description: Stills, videos and illustrations from the USA's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

For use as reference, teaching, presentation, and public health messages. Images are either "Public Domain" (free use) or "Copyright Protected" (restricted, obtain permission before use). Look directly beneath an image for this information.


Access Information: Access on and off campus

SAGE Research Methods Video has over 900 videos, including hours of tutorials, interviews, video case studies and mini-documentaries covering the entire research process. Find videos made with expert researchers from leading research institutions, your favorite SAGE authors, great teachers and more.

Topics: Key concepts in research, Philosophy of research, Research ethics, Planning research, Research design, Data collection, Data quality and data management, Qualitative data analysis, Quantitative data analysis,  Writing and disseminating research.



Access information: Access on and off-campus. Choose Shibboleth Log In or UK Federation.
Description: 1.5 million text records of historic monuments and of artefacts held in museums, galleries and archives, plus 500,000 related multimedia resources; video or sound clips, animations, graphics, plans, virtual reality objects and in particular, colour photographic images.
  Access to the text records and thumbnail images is freely available. Access to full resources is available under licence only, the terms of which restrict use of the material for no profit, no proliferation use in education.


Access information: Available on campus from the British Film Institute.
Description: An online encyclopaedia of British film and television featuring film and television clips from the BFI National Archive, and interviews with film and TV personalities. Clips are supplemented by rich and authoritative contextual material specially commissioned for BFI Screenonline alongside thousands of stills, posters and press books.


Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Approximately 5,000 photographs, primarily of China from 1917-1932 but including photographs of Korea, Japan, Hawaii, San Francisco and Russia.
  Maintained by Duke University Libraries, text and images in the collection are available for use in research, teaching, and private study but may not be used for any commercial purpose without prior permission.
Coverage: 5,000 photographs, 1917-1932.


Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Theatre in Video contains more than 250 definitive performances of the world's leading plays, together with more than 100 film documentaries, online in streaming video - more than 500 hours in all, representing hundreds of leading playwrights, actors and directors. This video resource is searchable by title, actor, playwright, and subject. It is also browsable by actor, director, playwright, genre, and dates. It is possible to bookmark specific scenes, monologues, and staging examples and then include those online links in learning and teaching material and in Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).


TV Rain Video Archive

Access information:

Access on and off campus. For off campus, please use the VPN - Access to the University network via the VPN.


TV Rain is Russia’s only independent television channel. The TV Rain Video Archive holds thousands of TV programmes, reports and interviews about today’s Russia. 


Access information: Available on and off campus. Some collections are only available to staff and students.
Description: These collections display highlights of the resources of the University of Edinburgh Library, principally from within Special Collections. At present there are almost 12,000 images available.
  Collections include: Hill and Adamson, the Salvsen Collection, Walter Scott Collection, Western Medieval Manuscripts, the Laing Collection, Oriental Manuscripts and Images from the School of Scottish Studies.


Access information: Open access
Description: VADS (the Visual Arts Data Service) has provided services to the academic community for over 20 years and has built up a considerable portfolio of visual art collections comprising over 140,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in learning, teaching and research. VADS is a service of the Library & Student Services department of the University for the Creative Arts.