Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
General science collections
Journal of Visualized Experiments
Journal of Visualized Experiments (General Section) is a peer reviewed, PubMed-indexed journal devoted to the publication of biological, medical, chemical and physical research in a video format. JoVE takes advantage of video technology to capture and transmit the multiple facets and intricacies of life science research. Visualization greatly facilitates the understanding and efficient reproduction of both basic and complex experimental techniques.
NYPL: Pictures of Science
300 images from the NYPL's "Seeing is Believing" exhibit.
Contains multimedia videos highlighting the U.S. Department of Energy's scientific research. State-of-the-art audio indexing and speech recognition technology allows the user to search for specific words and phrases spoken by the presenter in these video files. Simply enter a term and the results list will point to the precise snippets of the video where the term was spoken.
Science Photo Library
Science Photo Library (SPL) provides more than 600,000 images and 40,000 clips of images ranging in content from dentistry to climate change with hundreds of new submissions uploaded to the website each week. Images are watermarked, and users will need to pay for use.
American Meteor Society
Contains photos and videos uploaded by society members.
European Space Agency
Over 17,000 images and almost 3,000 videos provided by the ESA.
Images and video taken by the GALEX, an orbiting space telescope observing galaxies in ultraviolet light across 10 billion years of cosmic history.
Hubble Telescope images from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). Search for images by term of browse by categories including galaxies, solar system, nebulae, stars, the universe, and more.
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Maps and images organized into categories such as "Apollo surface panoramas" and "Ranger photographs of the moon." Hierarchically organized and can be difficult to navigate.
NASA Multimedia Galleries
The link above directs to NASA's landing page for image collections, including historical collections hosted on Flickr Commons and the "image of the day" service. Go to "galleries/videos" for more media. Below are links to other media galleries drawn from NASA images.
- More images and video can be found on the NASA page of the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System.
- GRIN (Great Images in NASA) is a smaller, curated collection of images of "significant historical interest" that some users may find easier to search, though it was last updated in 2009.
- Kennedy Space Center also maintains a shuttle image and video archive, depicting some of the preflight, launch and landing activities. Images are searchable or organized by mission. The most current mission listed was in 2002.
- The NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive (NSSDCA) features its own image gallery broken down into categories such as planetary and astronomical objects.
- NSSDCA lists even more NASA related image resources for further exploration, including Johnson Space Center's archive and the images from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)
The gallery includes pictures taken with the facilities of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, and also pictures of their telescopes, instruments and history. NOAO is the national facility for ground-based optical astronomy, and does not have space-based images.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)
A collection of astronomical images taken with NRAO instruments, as well as photographs of NRAO telescopes and facilities. Images are organized into categories, or searchable.
Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a project to make a map of a large part of the universe. Images are broken up into fields, spectra, and plates. This site is most helpful is users know exactly what they need.
Biology images from the University of Alberta. Users can browse by taxonomic hierarchy, concept, or by course.
Initially dedicated specifically to biology students, teachers, and teacher trainees, biodic opened to a wider public since 1999. It offers today the widest series of electron micrographs available on the web in the field of biology: over 1600 images are currently available in high resolution.
Nearly 7,000 images, video, and animation to be used for teaching biology. Mostly diagrams.
Biodiversity Heritage Library Flickr Collection
Over 100,000 images taken from literature digitized by the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
Cell Image Library
The Cell Image Library™ is a freely accessible, easy-to-search, public repository of reviewed and annotated images, videos, and animations of cells from a variety of organisms, showcasing cell architecture, intracellular functionalities, and both normal and abnormal processes. The purpose of this database is to advance research, education, and training, with the ultimate goal of improving human health.
Consortium of Midwest Herbaria
Focused around the Great Lakes drainage basin, this collection includes 132 herbaria from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Users can search or browse, and the site also includes a crowdsourcing component and a fun plant-of-the-day quiz to test your knowledge!
This site contains an extensive set of histological images devoted to fishes.
Data and images for millions of biological specimens are available in electronic format for the research community, government agencies, students, educators, and the general public. The portal has advanced search functionality and can be filtered to records with attached media.
Morphbank: Biological Imaging
Images documenting a wide variety of research including: specimen-based research in comparative anatomy, morphological phylogenetics, taxonomy and related fields focused on increasing our knowledge about biodiversity. Users may search, browse, edit, and annotate.
NIGMS Cellular Imaging
From the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Provides visualization at the cellular and sub-cellular level to understand cell structure and function and how they are dynamically regulated.
Nucleic Acid Database
The NDB contains information about experimentally-determined nucleic acids and complex assemblies.
Use the NDB to perform searches based on annotations relating to sequence, structure and function, and to download, analyze, and learn about nucleic acids. DNA and RNA images available.
Symbiota is software that allows researchers to digitize and catalog biological specimen data. There are currently over 20 sites from various regions in the world hosting their data through Symbiota. They are listed through this link.
vPlants: a virtual herbarium of the Chicago region
The Morton Arboretum, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Chicago Botanic Garden have collaborated to develop this online, searchable database that provides plant specimen data for over 120,000 plant species in the Chicago region.
USGS Denver Library Photographic Collection
The Photographic Collection is an archive of more than 500,000 still photographs, slides, glass plate slides, lantern slides, negatives, and sketches dating from the 1870s and taken by USGS scientists as part of their field studies. The images and photographers involved with this collection span a variety of styles, locations, and time periods. Subjects include earthquakes, volcanoes, geologic formations, minerals, historical mining operations, national parks, USGS portraits, and other photographs of historic and earth science events.
American Institute of Physics Emilio Segrè Visual Archives
More than 30,000 historical digital images, photographs, slides, lithographs, engravings, drawings and other visual materials. The collection is richest in portraits and snapshots of modern American physicists, astronomers and geophysicists but includes many other scientists as well as photos and illustrations of laboratories, telescopes, accelerators and other instruments, objects and places. High quality print and digital reproductions are available for purchase while stock thumbnail images are free to download for educational, non-commercial uses.
National Committee for Fluid Mechanics Films
A series of films created by Ascher Shapiro in the 1960s, used to teach fluid mechanics.
A large collection of insect images culled from a number of different institutions and organizations. A website of the Bugwood Images project.
USDA Insect Images Database
Images of 41 different insects, from the USDA. Related collections are included in the menu on the left side of the page.
Japanese Ant Image Database
Images of ant species in Japan.
Chrysidid Image Galleries
Images, videos, and drawings on Chrysidids.
Butterflies and Moths of North America
A collection of user-submitted images, searchable by common or scientific name. Alternatively, users may filter by developmental stage, species, family, or view.
Mississippi Entomological Museum Moth Photographers Group
Numerous images of specimens and living moths. The site can be confusing to look at, but the images may be worthwhile.
Features high quality images of moths, organized by family.
Contains over 150 species of butterflies and over 600 field images. Also designed as an iOS app.