Image Collection Help

Introduction | Searching | Interpreting search results
Viewing images | Browsing | Printing | Rights and reproductions


This Help page provides assistance for using all the image collections managed by the Digital Research Library.

Each image collection contains a "homepage." Click on the title of an image collection to visit the homepage. Each collection's homepage includes an information icon () that supplies you with additional information about that collection, such as the scope and content of the collection, number of images in the collection, and contact information for the holder of the collection.

From an image collection homepage, you have a choice to

  • Search the collection
  • Browse all the images
  • Browse all the records (the textual descriptive information accompanying each image)



Selecting an image collection(s)

Note: You are searching the textual descriptions accompanying each image based on the descriptive fields for each collection.

Some of the DRL image collections are grouped together to enable you to search several collections simultaneously (i.e., cross-collection search). You also have the choice of visiting the homepage of a single collection and searching and browsing the images from only that collection.

When searching among a group of collections, one or more image collections can be selected by placing a checkmark in the square next to a collection name (by default all collections are selected for searching). Use the "Clear All" button to remove all the selections, and select each collection separately.

The most common search is one that retrieves hits from "Anywhere in Record." However, you can focus your search on a particular descriptive field within an image collection. Use the pull-down menu to select a specific field. Please note that when performing a cross-collection search, your field restrictions are limited to only those that are common to all image collections (e.g., Title, Creator, Description, Date, Subject).

If at anytime you select "New Search" from the top of a collection page, you will default to either the single collection search page (if you visited a single collection homepage and performed a search or browse), or a cross-collection search page (if you previously performed a cross-collection search).

Search tips

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when you are searching DRL Image Collections:

String matching: The search engine uses string matching to determine search hits. This means that for each query term, the primary rule is what you put in the search box is literally what the search engine will look for in the descriptive fields. This includes complete phrases. It is similar to searching within quotation markes in an Internet search engine. For example, a search entered as Picasso and Rembrandt in the search box looks for "Picasso and Rembrandt."

To give yourself the best possible results, separate the words using a Boolean search strategy. Boolean search lets you look for combinations of up to two terms or phrases using the Boolean connector terms AND, OR, and NOT.

Exceptions to the primary rule:

Wildcards: You can use an asterisk (*) at the end of a word stem to find plural forms and other variations on that word. For example, a search on work* will match works, worker, working, etc.

Punctuation: You should not use punctuation marks when performing a search. For example, to search for East-End, enter East End (without the hyphen).

Capitalization: The search engine is not case sensitive. For example, a search for Airport will match AIRPORT, Airport, and airport.


Interpreting search results

You can view the search results in three different ways.

  1. Images with captions. Displays a thumbnail of the retrieved image typically with Title and Date presented below.

  2. Images with full record. Displays a thumbnail of the retrieved image typically with Title and Date presented below, but also includes a sidebar with the full description of the corresponding image. Select the "descriptive info" link beneath each thumbnail to read the full descriptive record for any image.

  3. Captions only. Displays only the full descriptive information for each retrieved image. Select the "View Full Record" link to view the image.

Your search terms are highlighted in red wherever they occur in the descriptive information for each image. By default, the retrieved images are presented in image ID order. In most image collections you will be able to sort the image results by Title or Date.

Single collection vs. cross-collection search results

The search results display for any of the above is slightly different when performing a single collection search versus a cross-collection search. The basic difference is that a cross-collection search also includes the title of the collection and repository abbreviation in italics beneath the thumbnail.


Viewing images

Click on a thumbnail image (or select the "View Full Record" link in the Captions Only view) to view a larger version of an image. The image viewer will open in a new browser window.

Depending on the image size restrictions placed on each collection, you will be presented with an image and have the option of increasing and/or decreasing its viewing resolution by selecting a smaller or larger box beneath Size.

You can zoom in and out on a particular portion of an image by clicking on a zoom option (plus or minus icon) and then by clicking on the image with your cursor over the area to enlarge/reduce. An image can be enlarged to its maximum image resolution.

The full descriptive information for the image in view appears on the left-hand side of the image.

You can select "Previous Item" or "Next Item" to view additional images from the search results page, or select "Return to Search Results" to return to the search results page.

Some image records may have two or more images associated with it (e.g., pages associated with a music score). Within the image viewer, note that you can select a subsequent image from the pull-down menu.



Only images from a single collection can be browsed. Within the single collection homepage, select either "Browse all images" or "Browse all records."

Browse all images: This "browse results" page displays the first twenty thumbnail images from the collection with the option of jumping to the next twenty. The page also indicates the quantity of images in the collection. You may be presented with several sorting options.

Browse all records: This "browse results" page displays the first fifty full image descriptions from the collection with the option of jumping to the next fifty and so on. You may be presented with several sorting options.



We do not offer a method of printing the images directly from the image viewer.


Rights and reproductions

Each image collection has unique rights and reproduction restrictions associated with it. To view the appropriate rights page for a collection, please follow the link labeled "Copyright" from within the collection you are viewing. You are also encouraged to contact the holder of the images for more information (contact information is provided from every collection homepage).