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Image Databases: Citing Images

General Guidelines

In general, the following details are necessary for any image citation, no matter which citation style you choose:

* The title of the image, if applicable. For example, this could be the title of the artwork or, if it's a media image, the original caption.
* The name of the image's creator.
* The repository of the image. This is the institution that owns the original: the museum, the library, the archive, the individual, etc.
* The source. This could be a database such as ARTstor, a Web site, a book, etc.
* The date you accessed the image. This is most important for Web sources, which can be quite ephemeral.


ARTstor provides its own guidelines.

Citation Help

Citation Management Tools

Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, organize and store your PDFs, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles.  Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but all are easier than doing it by hand!

  1. Zotero: Free software that keeps copies of what you find on the web, permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service. Zotero is available as a stand-alone application that syncs with Chrome and Safari, or as a bookmarklet for mobile browsers.
  2. RefWorks - web-based and free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies, then works with Word to help you format references and a bibliography for your paper. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.
  3. EndNote: Desktop software for managing your references and formatting bibliographies. You can purchase EndNote from the Cal Student Store

Tip: After creating a bibliography with a citation management tool, it's always good to double check the formatting; sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.

Citing Images with Chicago Style


  • An illustration number may be separated from the caption by a period or a space. Figure may be abbreviated or spelled out.
  • Include artist's name, title of work (italicized), medium, measurements and the institution which houses the work.
  • Include the source the image came from preceded by a statement which declares the source (for example 'In: ' or 'Source: ' or       'Available from: ').
  • Be sure to include the URL and date accessed if your source is online.
  • Be consistent with caption display choices throughout your paper or slideshow.


Image scanned from a book:

Fig. 1. Alice Neel, Nancy and the Rubber Plant. 1975, Oil on canvas, 203.2 x 91.4 cm. The Estate of Alice Neel. From: Ann Temkin et al. Alice Neel. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2000. Plate 64.

Image downloaded from ARTstor:

Fig. 2. Rogier van der Weyden, Saint Catherine of Alexandria. 1430-1432, Diptych panel, 18.5 x 12 cm. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria. Available from: ARTstor, (accessed September 30. 2019).

Image downloaded from museum website:

Fig. 3. Caravaggio, The Denial of Saint Peter. Early 15th century. Oil on canvas, 94 x 125.4 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. From: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (accessed September 29, 2019).

Image downloaded from Flickr Commons:

Fig. 4. Thomas Eakins, William Rudolf O'Donovan. 1981, Black and white photographic print, 6 x 8 cm. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Available from: Flickr Commons, (accessed September 29, 2019).

Image downloaded from Flickr (personal images uploaded by others):

Fig. 5. Friedrich von Schmidt, Vienna Rathaus. 1872-1883. Source: Harshil Shah, Vienna - Rathaus. 2009, Digital Image. Available from: Flickr, (accessed September 14, 2020).