British Library Images Online
Find and buy pictures from our unique collections
Who we are
Images Online is the picture library of the British Library, the national library of the United Kingdom. We host some of the nation’s best historical collections, in many different languages from across the world, including the private collection of King George III which is housed in the King’s Library.
Our images are used worldwide, in books, theses, exhibitions, documentaries and products. We are proud to be able to bring such wealth in images to be viewed by the many, and enjoyed by the masses, and we are always here to guide and assist all visitors to our site.
What we offer
Images Online gives you instant access to thousands of the greatest images from the British Library's vast collections. You will have access to all the Library’s "Treasures" including:
- Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures Under Ground [in Wonderland]
- Sultan Baybars' Qur'an,
- The Lindisfarne Gospels
- The Golden Haggadah.
You will also see some beautifully decorated Manuscripts and Rare Books. Captivating watercolours from Asia, subtle ornate details in Illuminations; intriguing maps and landscapes from journeys across the world.
All images purchased for download are high-resolution JPEGs at 300PPI in the Adobe RGB (1998) colour space.
Every image supplied contains IPTC metadata for credit and copyright purposes, including British Library shelfmarks.
We are able to supply high-resolution TIFFs if needed, please contact us for details.
Please note that all images on Images Online except for those in Copyright are available to download as JPEGs free of charge at dimensions of 2000px (long-side) at 300 PPI. This is sufficient quality to print up to A5. Please use the Free Download option in the drop-down menu when selecting images. Any image(s) downloaded this way are free to use without restriction. The images are not made available as Public Domain, and will need to be credited © British Library Board (including the shelfmark, folio/page number) when used.
Culturally Sensitive Images
For reasons of history - cultural, imperial and mercantile - our collection is one of the most international of its kind anywhere in the world, with items reflecting all major languages groups and faiths. The images produced were in different locations, at different times, and in different historical moments.
Inevitably, items in the collections reflect the approaches to research at the time when they were produced and attitudes of those who created them. Users should be aware that some of the representations of people or cultures are offensive by today's standards and that others were also controversial at the time of their creation.
We created the leather jacket under our license with the Ministry of Defence. It is in the style of the flight jacket worn by RAF pilots during the Second World War. The jacket features official MoD insignia including their crest on the sleeve and the Pilots’ Wings Brevet on the chest.
In order to make the jacket unique, we sought to line the jacket with a design which would help to anchor the jacket in era of WWII. We felt the silk escape maps from the War provided an appropriate inspiration for the lining. The Schaffhausen Airey Neave escape map was well-suited to the design for the lining given its history, the high level of detail and the clearly marked route to help Allied forces make a safe journey to neutral Switzerland.
As the jacket lining could only include a section of the map, we also provided the customer with a reproduction of the map in its entirety. - Jennifer Darling
The Wizard of Oz Limited Edition Collection
Every journey brings us home
Moleskine celebrates a story that moves us to look beyond ourselves to find the answers within. The Wizard of Oz Limited Edition Collection consists of 4 charming and nostalgic notebooks, each one referring to a different chapter from this classic children's tale by L. Frank Baum. From the Cowardly Lion to the Deadly Poppy Field, the Magic Art of the Great Humbug and the Search for the Wicked Witch, join Dorothy and friends as they move towards the Emerald City and the answers they all seek.
Each notebook in the collection has a tactile printed canvas cover featuring original artwork by W. W. Denslow, alongside a quote from the relevant chapter on the back. The iconic illustrations continue on the endpapers inside, on a set of themed stickers and on the paperband b-side, which features an "I am reading. Do not disturb" sign to cut out and make.
Embark on your own journey of self-discovery on the pages of these 4 collectible The Wizard of Oz Limited Edition Notebooks.
Is there a British Library image you have seen and unable to find?
Do you have enquiries regarding permissions, or a more general question?
T: +44(0)20 7412 7614 (Images Online/Sales)
T: +44(0)20 7412 7246 (Brand Licensing)How to get here