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Dance: Image and Video Resources

This guide will direct you to many resources to use for the dance enthusiast.

Image resources on the Web

The sites below offer excellent images for research in art and art history and are especially good for illustrating a research paper or creating a class presentation. See the Web Resources tab for many other resources.

African & Asian Visual Artists Archive -- A comprehensive archive of contemporary visual art by artists of African and Asian descent working in the UK since the post-war period. The archive houses over 6,000 slides of artworks and exhibitions, as well as publications and videos about and by artists.  There are over 200 individual artist folders, as well as curators, art historians, cultural critics and arts organization files. 

American Memory Project -- Created by the Library of Congress, American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections.

Art Images for College Teaching -- AICT is a personal, non-profit project of its author, art historian and visual resources curator Allan T. Kohl. AICT is intended primarily to disseminate images of art and architectural works in the public domain on a free-access, free-use basis to all levels of the educational community, as well as to the public at large. The collection focuses on ancient, medieval, and Renaissance European art and architecture.

Bridgeman Art Library -- Excellent image database containing images from over 8,000 collections and more than 29,000 artists, Bridgeman provides a central source of fine art and historical images for users. Based in London but focus is international in scope.

Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) -- A well-designed site with focus on fashion, craft, 2D design, and contemporary artists working in the UK and internationally. Repository for many specail collections in the UK.

Web Gallery of Art -- WGA is a virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture from 11th to mid-19th centuries. Content focuses on the Renaissance period, the Medieval roots of the period and its evolution to Baroque and Rococo via Mannerism. More recently Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Realism were also included.

 Cybermuse -- National Gallery of Canada's hosts its permanent collection of Canada's visual arts heritage. This virtual museum contains over 20,000 images of works of the Gallery's permanent collection as well as video and audio recordings of Canadian artists.

Flickr Commons Project -- The Commons Project is a collection of medium and high resolution imagery contributed from archives around the world, including the US National Archives, OSU's Archives, NYPL's Archives, and many many more. The photos contributed to this have no known copyright restrictions. Read more here. However, many of these images explicitly state they are for educational use only, and some state they may not be modified (ex: Smithsonian). Read the rights statement to be sure what you can and cannot do with these images before using them.

Creative Commons -- The Creative Commons is a way for digital content creators to license their work for use by others online. There are multiple creative commons licenses. The pdf attached to this page lists and explains these licenses.

Every Stock Photo -- Search engine for free stock photos licensed under Creative Commons, public domain, GNU, or custom free licenses.

MorgueFile -- Free high resolution images for personal or commercial use, under this license. You can filter your search by size, color, geotag, and more. From the site: The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for illustrators, comic book artist, designers, teachers and all creative pursuits.

Library of Congress Prints and Photograph Collection -- The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog offers digital images of much of the Prints and Photographs Division’s holdings including architecture, design and engineering, among other categories.


The ARTstor Digital Library is one of the premiere image databases for research in art and art historical topics. It includes more than 80 collections of over one million images. The collections are gathered from a wide variety of museums, research collections, artists and artists’ estates, library special collections, and photo archives. Content includes images from the fields of art, architecture, material culture, maritime history, anthropology, and archeology.  The collection is available for non-commercial and educational use only through the Dixie State University Library.

ARTstor is not only a rich digital library of art images and descriptive information, but also provides software tools to enable active use of the collections. ARTstor's search interface allows users to view and analyze images through features such as zooming and panning, saving groups of images online for personal or shared uses, and creating and delivering presentations both online and offline.

Help in using ARTstor is available at http://help.artstor.org/wiki/index.php/ARTstor_Help_Topics.


Selected Image Sites with use licenses

 20,000+ images. There are two drop-down menus (one for textures, one for images) for category browsing. Imageafter allows you to use their images on printed material for resale.

Access the California State University IMAGE Project, containing 60,000+ images. Global in coverage and includes all areas of visual imagery, its images may be freely used for non-profit educational purposes.

The photos on Imagebase are free to use, and are licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Owned by Getty Images, 350,000+ stock images for use, keyword searchable. Non-commercial use only.

Free Use Group on Flickr
1200+ random images contributed by Flickr users available for unrestricted use.

Video Database

This is a video database in which you can watch various dances.

Dance in Video (Alexander Street Press) 
   Streaming videos of 20th century dance performances & documentaries on dance and dance training. Limited to 3 concurrent users.

Dance Video Websites

  • An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals - Video - Library of Congress
    75 video clips that illustrate portions of the dance instruction manuals in the Library of Congress collections. Covers from the Renaissance and Baroque periods up through 19th-century and ragtime dances.
  • YouTube Edu
    Videos from university and college dance departments and companies. Videos range in length from brief clips to performances of over an hour and a half in length. Also a good source for performances of dance music.
  • Dance: Great Performances (PBS)
    Free full-length videos of several PBS programs online.
  • flickr
    Search flickr for user-submitted photos and videos. Search tags for words such as dance, dancers, hip-hop, ballet, etc. Watch for copyright restrictions. Look for "Creative Commons" licensing which allows you to use a photo under certain guidelines.
  • Dance Films Association
    "Dance Films Association, Inc., a non-profit members' service organization, attempts to support the dance-on-camera community through its annual Dance on Camera Festival, Dance Film Lab, Choreographers Initiative, publications, grants, and workshops. " See also the Dance on Camera Channel.
  • DanceMedia.com
    Lots of user-submitted dance videos.