How do I find images?

How do I use those buttons above the image?

How do I view images with multiple parts?

How do I see a larger version of an image?

How do I request a digital file for editorial or creative use?

How do I put an image on my blog?

How do I save images for later use?

How do I print out an image?

How do I use a Collection Guide?

How do I find images?

Use the search box

To begin a simple search, type one or more words into the search box located at the top of every page. Search results appear as small images (thumbnails); these images link to more information (metadata) and larger images. NOTE: Searches do not include the texts of Collection Guides.


A word typed in the keyword box looks for that term in these fields: Image Caption, Subject, Book/Album Title ("Source"), Name, Notes, NYPL Call Number and Digital ID. By default, typing multiple words generates a search for instances where ALL the terms appear in a record, that is, an AND search.

Search Terms with "AND / OR"

Multiple search terms default to an "AND" search: all words entered must appear in each record


Finds records containing "Egypt" AND "pyramid"

You can expand a search by typing "OR" between each of your search terms: then any of your search terms may appear in an image record.


Finds records that contain the term "railroad" as well as records that contain the term "railway."

Partial Searches with ? (question mark) or * (asterisk)

Partial words can be searched by using the wildcards ? or * in a search term. To wildcard only one character, use ? in the middle or at the end of a term. To wildcard one or more characters, use * in the middle or at the end of a term. You may combine wildcards within the same term.


Search Phrases with Quotes

To search for an exact phrase, add quotes to your terms. Combine phrases and words as needed.

Example:    chicago OR "new york"

When phrase searching, the order of terms matters. When constructing your search, keep in mind that some fields, such as creator names, are stored with the last name appearing first. So while a phrase search for " Abraham Ortelius" would retrieve no hits, a search for "Ortelius Abraham" will find images since this is how the term is stored in the creator field. To expand your results, always try keywords as an alternative to a phrase, since a keyword search will return results regardless of the order of the searched terms.


Finds records that contain either "bridge, bridges etc." or "tunnel, tunneling, tunnels" etc.

Searches keywords for records that contain the exact phrase "George Washington"

Common Words

To increase relevant search results, several common words (stop-words), such as "a" and "by," are ignored when doing a search. For example, a search for "the City of New York" looks only for "city," "new," and "york."

NYPL Digital Gallery stop-words include these terms:

a, and, are, as, at, be, but, by, for, if, in, into, is, it, no, not, of, on, or, such, that, the, their, then, there, these, they, this, to, was, will, with

Capital Letters

It is not necessary to capitalize proper names in search terms. Searches are not case-sensitive: a search for "new york city" or "New York City" will yield the same results.

Punctuation and Diacritics

Punctuation marks such as commas, periods, and dashes should not affect keyword searches. Diacritics count in searching and either need to be included in the search term or replaced with wildcards. For example, keying in "Seguy" does not retrieve the name spelled as "Séguy" and visa versa; however, typing in "S?guy" should retrieve instances of either spelling.

No Results

Use synonyms if a particular word search retrieves no hits, insert wildcards (* or ?, see above) for spelling uncertainties, or try browsing Subjects (see Browsing NYPL Digital Gallery).

Relevancy Ranking

Search results are ranked by relevancy according to the frequency in which terms appear in the following fields: Subjects, Captions, Names, Sources (Album/Book Title), Notes, and Call Numbers. Use Advanced Search to limit the incidence of search terms to specific fields.

Use the Advanced Search features

Searches can sometimes retrieve a very large set of images. Enable more specific results by limiting or refining a search to specific fields or numbers with Advanced Search options. Advanced Searching also provides the Boolean options: "AND," "OR," and "EXACT PHRASE."

Find Source Titles

Search here for album, book, or other source titles. Results are returned as a list of relevant collection and source titles. Typing "american AND history," for example, will find the collection entitled, Emmet Collection of Manuscripts Etc. Relating to American History, plus titles like Friends worth knowing; glimpses of American natural history (1880) and American natural history. Part 1.--Mastology. (1826-28)

Find Titles by Date

Title searches may also be limited to specific date ranges. Keep in mind that this will limit your search to only those titles for which a published or created date is available. Not all titles contain date information, and these titles will not appear in your results.

Find Numbers

A "number search" locates records using one of three different number types:

Search Keywords in Fields

Terms are searched across all fields that have been selected in an Advanced Search. For example, an "ALL words [AND]" search using the terms "Abraham" and "Lincoln" will retrieve a record that has "Abraham" in any field (image caption, subject, title, etc.) and "Lincoln" in any field, for instance, one with "Abraham" in the title field and "Lincoln" in the subject field. To narrow searches to one or more fields, select preferred fields before searching. Truncate advanced search terms with wildcards ("*/?"); expand searches by choosing a Boolean ("AND," "OR," "EXACT PHRASE") option; or refine queries with the "limit by word(s)" option, which excludes records containing specific words or phrases in the fields that are searched.


Enter words or phrase:

Search in these fields:

Without these word(s):

(items will NOT contain these words or phrases in any searchable fields)

This "limit by word" search finds records with subjects containing "Washington" but not "George."

Limit by Library Research Centers or Divisions

Advanced searches may be limited to one or more of the NYPL Research Centers (Humanities and Social Sciences Library; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the Science, Industry and Business Library), the Mid-Manhattan Library Picture Collection, or to divisions within these Centers.

Reviewing Your Search History

A temporary list is stored of the search terms used during your browser session. Select "Search History" at the top of any page to review your previous searches. Closing your browser automatically deletes your list of searches. You must have cookies enabled on your client browser to use this feature. You may also delete your search history at any time during your session by choosing the "Clear your search history" link on the Search History page.

Find an image of a particular subject

The subject index is an alphabetical list of subject terms which includes people, institutions, places, and topics derived from Library of Congress Subject Headings and the LC Thesaurus for Graphic Materials. Subjects are linked to related images; however, because descriptive records for some items do not have assigned subject terms, not all items in the Gallery can be accessed from this index.

Find an image of a particular name

Names listed include artists, authors, publishers, collectors, and others responsible for the creation of items found on this site. The name index includes primary (artist, photographer, etc.) and additional (printer, dedicatee, etc.) names. NOTE: Check the subject index to find more names. For example, people depicted in images are listed in the subject index.

Find an image located in a particular library

The directory of library divisions organizes the titles found on this website by the curatorial and public service departments holding the original materials within the NYPL Research and Branch Libraries. In addition, the contents of each Collection Guide can be sorted by the specific Library Division(s) providing the content.

Click on categories under "Find Images" on any image detail page

On each image detail page, there are a set of terms listed on the left side of the page, under "Find Images." Click on any of these terms to see more images. You can combine terms by using the checkboxes, then clicking "Go."

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How do I use those buttons above the image?

Use the image tools at the top of each image detail page

Search results appear as a grid of thumbnail images, with their titles and Digital IDs. Clicking on a thumbnail will open the image detail page. This view presents a mid-size image, tools for interacting with the image, links to related images and materials, and the fullest version of an item's descriptive record including physical and bibliographical information.

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How do I view images with multiple parts?

Use the "View Image Set" box

Some images offer both a front and back view. Examples of materials presented this way include baseball photographs, cigarette cards and book jackets. Some images are comprised of more than one part, for example, restaurant menus. The presentation of these materials shows the first part (the cover or part 1) and offers browsing of the subordinate parts via the green arrows located above the image, with the option to view more from the "View Image Set" box located to the right of the image.

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How do I see a larger version of an image?

Use the "Resize" button in the image tools,
or click directly on the image detail

This view is a full-screen enlargement of the item with descriptive data. Click on the "Resize" button or on the image to see to the full-screen enlargement.

Use the "Zoom" button (where available)

To enable enhanced detail viewing, some images are also available for Pan & Zoom display. A button with the words "Zoom" appears on Detail and Enlarged pages only for images which can be viewed with this option. Click on the "Zoom" button to begin using Pan & Zoom features.

Pan & Zoom images are very high-resolution files which can be viewed using the free ExpressView browser software, downloadable from LizardTech, Inc. In general, these amplified files are available for representations of exceptional works such as illuminated manuscripts and Japanese color woodcuts, as well as large, detailed original materials such as maps, bird's-eye views and panoramas.

The optional ExpressView browser plugin is optimized for use with Netscape 7.x and greater, Safari, Mozilla browsers like Firefox, or Internet Explorer 6.0. Review the choices for downloading a free viewer plugin (ExpressView) at Users on some operating systems or browsers may be required to download other LizardTech viewing software to their computers in order to pan and zoom, rather than using the browser plugin.

LizardTech provides this optional software, and The New York Public Library makes no warranty regarding its use.

ExpressView Plugin Tips

Return to original size (home): Click the "home" symbol to return to the default image view.

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How do I request a digital file for editorial or creative use?

Submit a Permissions Request for Editorial or Creative Use

300dpi TIFF files of Gallery images are available for use in a book, magazine, newspaper, scholarly journal, CD-ROM, DVD, brochure, calendar, poster, flyer, postcard, documentary, TV show, feature film, video, exhibition, web site, promotional material, product, or advertisement.

To order reproductions for the above uses, you can first save requested images to "Your Selections." Then from the Selections page check the "Editorial/Creative Use" box for each image you wish to order, and then scroll down and click "Start Request for Editorial/Creative Use," which will take you to an online form that you can submit. Please note you must call in credit card details to 212-930-0091 or 212-930-0808.

For pricing on requests for editorial or creative usage, see the Library's Fee Schedule. Prices include the 300dpi TIFF. There is a $35 surcharge to obtain an 8x10" print instead. Contact for availability of 4 x 5" color transparencies or re-scanning of items at higher than 300dpi, or if your intended use is not listed.

For more information about image permissions and other photographic services, please contact Premium Services.

Please note that NYPL does not supply TIFF files for personal use.

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How do I put an image on my blog or website?

Use the Linking and Embedding feature

To link to a Digital Gallery record, copy the URL that is in the text box under the heading "Permalink (click to copy)." You can then paste this into your bookmarks, blog posts, etc.

To add a Digital Gallery image to a blog post, for example, copy the code under the heading "Embed image (click code)" and then paste it into your post. When embedding code, you should use the code view window in your favorite blogging application, since a visual, or "editing," window usually will not not allow you to add code snippets. The maximum height or width of embedded Digital Gallery images is 300 pixels.

For more help on embedding code or linking URLs in blog posts, please read the help pages within your favorite blogging application.

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How do I save images for later use?

Use the "Select" (and "Remove") button in the image tools

The "Selections" feature saves up to sixty-four (64) images for future viewing. Add any image to your Selections by clicking the "Select" button. To view all of your Selections, click on "My Selections" at the top of any page. Remove images from Selections at any time by clicking the "Remove" button. To delete all images in your Selections, click the "Clear all records from Selections" link on the Selections page.

In order to use the "Selections" feature, your web browser must have cookies enabled. While you are not required to log in or provide any personal information to save images, Selections uses cookies (small text files that store Selections image identifiers for later retrieval). This information allows you to view your Selections images when returning to this site later from the same computer. The New York Public Library gathers no personal information, and you may clear all images from Selections at any time.

Save to your computer

Any image can be downloaded (saved to your own computer) by right-clicking (Windows) or by Saving (MAC).

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How do I print out an image?

Use the "Print" button in the image tools

To print a copy of an image, click the "Print" button above the image. You may then choose to print the image with or without its bibliographic information. Optionally, you can use your browser's print controls to print from any screen.

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How do I use a Collection Guide?

Browse the Collection Guides

Digital collections are presented in one or more of seven broad topical categories. The categories are Arts & Literature, Cities & Buildings, Culture & Society, History & Geography, Industry & Technology, Nature & Science, and Printing & Graphics.

This website presents more than seventy digital collections of related materials in order to aid their discovery and to provide bibliographic, institutional, and intellectual context. Each of these presentations includes a structured narrative about the digital contents called a "Collection Guide." In addition, each digital collection provides tools for further browsing: "Collection Contents" is a list of titles or a hierarchy of folders and sub-folders enabling researchers to move through a collection's content and follow its internal organization; "Related Subjects" provides a scoped index, derived from the subject terms in the collections' descriptive records.

Digital collections all have the same presentation format, but represent two kinds of collections. One reflects real-world content and archival organization, such as researchers find when visiting a library reading room; the other type of collection is virtual, where NYPL has grouped together materials related by topic or format, that may reside in more than one library division. Many of the virtual collections build upon earlier work by NYPL staff such as bibliographies, monographs, and exhibitions featuring NYPL's special holdings. Citations for these earlier works appear in the "Related Resources" sections of relevant Collection Guides.

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NYPL Digital Gallery provides free and open access to over 800,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the vast collections of The New York Public Library, including drawings, illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more.