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Finding the Perfect Image: Image Resources at the U
April 18, 2007

University Images Library (

Steve Baker, director of communications services, University Relations:

  • central source for University photos and logos
  • 1,700 photos
  • 4,000 registered users
  • they have received 60 plus suggestions for additions and will work on them over the summer

Pat O’Leary, photographer, University Relations:

  • If you have specific needs, usually those are taken care of by departments, but sometimes he may be able to supplement those photos.
  • University Images Library is meant to be visually browsed rather than searched due to time constraints to maintain it, but the categories might help you find photos.
  • They can’t put an image in two categories at once, so look in different categories (campus photos may be in Building rather than Campus Scene section).
  • Last 10-12 he uploaded automatically appear in the Recent Additions listing.
  • A new search feature will be available in about a month.

University Libraries Digital Collections (

Jason Roy, head of the Digital Collections Unit at University Libraries:

  • Archivists of the Digital Collections Unit of the University Libraries can help you:
    • scan images upon request of library materials (a pricing guide available; service is not free, but there are internal and external prices; turn-around time is 3-5 business days);
    • search for images digitized or not; and
    • deal with with rights issues.
  • Unit staff also seek out and work with campus staff who wish to share their materials with the world; 20,000 images will be added by the end of this year to online collections; communicators are encouraged to see what they have online and think about images you could contribute.
  • Examples of images in their collections include:
    • historical stock photos of U from the 1940s in the University Archives, both from official U photographers and snapshots by nonprofessionals,
    • magazine covers,
    • architectural renderings,
    • theatrical scenery from early 20th century,
    • medieval manuscripts, and
    • bizarre images.

Questions and Answers

  • Have you considered letting others contribute to the University Images Library? Yes, but there are issues of control/rights/permissions, like if the outside photographers don’t like the way one of their images are used; but they could consider having a category. The University Libraries staff is also considering enabling submissions from students, staff, and faculty that are related to research.
  • Are images from coordinate campuses included in these collections? The University Libraries staff is exploring this issue; Duluth and Morris have their own images libraries.
  • Are University Relations staff tracking the number of times images are used so same images aren’t used by many units on campus? No, but they hope to avoid over-duplication by providing a wide range of images.
  • Can users of the University Images Library suggest metadata? Yes, you can suggest in which categories images should be listed.
  • Are other campus image resources available? Yes, health sciences and some colleges like CLA have image collections, but most are available only to people in the unit. The University Libraries would like to support an enterprise-wide system to access all of these in the future. The metropolitan design center is another resource, and an extensive collection from the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station and University of Minnesota Extension Service is available through the libraries at




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