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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters


A Page of Connections

Anna’s mention of I.N.K. made me think of the many online links I use, or visit, as I work on nonfiction books. So I thought I’d put some faves up here, and ask for you to add any of yours. To start things off, I am listing sites I visit to look for images. I’ve written my notes with an author/publisher in mind — issues like rights, cost, and permissions. But for teachers and librarians, I suspect you can download images to show without cost — check the rules on each site.

Any photo research will surely take me to the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs page, This is a wonderful place to find historical images, primarily having some link to the USA (though there are images taken in other countries, or about themes in history not related to the US). As many of you know, there are two cautions — because the LOC has an image does not mean it is in the public domain — you have to check its copyright status. And, only some of the files online are large enough to reproduce well — you may need to order a print to use in a book. This process is slow — though inexpensive.

But I also like touring around on Google Images. Generally I go to an image, then to the site that houses it and try to track down where it comes from. GI is like a giant Sears catalog — a resource to thumb through, but only the start of a journey.

Another great place to hunt for images is Images Online at the British Library. Their collection tends to be as Brit as the LOC is American, but if you remember that "Brit" includes the Empire, and that the colonial Brits loved to gather historical materials from the areas they rules, you get a sense of the range of what can be found there. Again two cautions — they are only a short way into digitizing their holdings. So you should check the British Library main site as well as Images Online. And the BL is expensive — in my mind, far too expensive.

At the other end of the spectrum is our National Archives and Records Administration, NARA’s holdings are all US, I believe, but quite inexpensive (there is no perm cost if the image is out of copyright, which is true of most, though not all, images; you must use an outside vendor who charges to download the image and send you the file). You need to scroll down to Online Databases and click on ARC. The site is getting better, and is worth exploring.

And one last photo site that has proven to be a rich resource, This is a site that draws on the resources of many California libraries. It also has material organized to be especially useful to K-12 teachers.

Send in your favorite image sites, and then we can build from there.