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A guide to resources for finding images in UVic Libraries

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Christine Walde
Christine Walde,MLIS
Room 404, University Librarian's Office
Mearns Centre for Learning-McPherson Library
University of Victoria
PO Box 1800 STN CSC
Victoria, BC V8W 3H5
Subjects: Art, Journalism, Theatre

Additional citation guides

For further guidance with citations, see UVic Libraries' Citation Help page and the Citation Management Software Libguide.

For authoritative prescriptions on how to use each style, see the official guide to APA style, the MLA handbook (available online through UVic), or the Chicago Manual of Style (also available online through UVic).

Citing images in Chicago format

According to the Chicago Manual of Style, citations are not usually necessary for paintings, photographs, sculptures, and art pieces included in a paper, as long as your text make it reasonably clear the title and creator of the work of art you are discussing (see section 14.235).

However, you may still wish to cite the image your paper discusses in several cases. Perhaps the image is central to your topic, difficult to find, the particular version of the image you are using is important, or you may just want to make sure your instructor notices how many primary sources your paper makes use of.

This guide will detail the format used to cite visual materials in the Chicago style, using footnotes and not the author-date conventions.

General format for images online or viewed in a gallery

Chicago style footnotes for image citations should use the following format:

1. Artist first name last name, Title, date, medium, size [if applicable], location [if available], URL [if available].

For example:

1. Pablo Picasso, Bull's Head, Spring 1942, bicycle saddle and handlebars, 33.5 x 43.5 x 19 cm, Musée Picasso Paris,[image2]/0/.

Chicago style image citations in your reference list should use the following format:

Artist last name, first name. Title. Date. Medium, size [if applicable]. Location [if available]. URL [if available].

An example:

Picasso, Pablo. Bull’s Head. Spring 1942. Bicycle saddle and handlebars, 33.5 × 43.5 × 19 cm. Musée Picasso Paris.[image2]/0/.

Titles of works are always italicized, except in the case of ancient Classical-era sculptures such as the Venus de Milo, which often have unknown creators, or monumental statues such as the Statue of Liberty.

Illustrations from a book

The Chicago style does not provide a format which is clearly suitable citing fine art images as reproduced in a book, though it does include a format which is more suited for citing tables, maps, colour plates, and figures included in a book (see section 14.158). Use your discretion as to whether it may be the case to locate an online version of the image to cite using the general format listed above, or the illustration format listed here.

Footnote format:

1. Author first name last name, Title (Location: Publisher, Date), page number, [table, plate, map, illustration, or fig. number].

For example:

1. Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1996), 157, fig. 4.1.

The reference list format would be identical to any other book you would cite.

Author last name, first name. Title. Location: Publisher, Date.

For the example above:

Gould, Stephen Jay. The Mismeasure of Man. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1996.

Including images in your paper

Images should appear shortly after you mention them in your paper, and should be numbered (see figure 1). The word 'figure' is not strictly necessary, but may be used. Works with multiple chapters or sections may include a chapter number and a figure number for each illustration (as in 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, and so on).

Chicago style also states that "a brief statement of the source of an illustration, known as a credit line, is usually appropriate." Chicago style does not prescribe the exact format of this statement. The style does not require that images included in a paper be included in the reference list.

If you wish to include the image in your paper, it may be best to put a credit statement following the caption in the same format you would use for a footnote citation, including a statement of the license, copyright, or permission you are reproducing the image under. See the example below.

Photograph of a houseboat in Victoria, B.C.

Figure 1. A houseboat located in Victoria, Michal Klaiban, Fisherman's Wharf Park, Victoria, British Columbia 08, 2018, Wikimedia Commons,,_Victoria,_British_Columbia_08.jpg. CC BY-SA 4.0.

Creative Commons License
This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.