The Victoria and Albert Museum Image Collection

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England has an extensive collection of photographs of the objects in its possession. A large number of these are now available on-line in high-resolution format. Moreover, these images are provided free of charge for personal research use.

Using the collection

The following is a basic tutorial describing how to use the collection. Please poke around in the corners of the V&A website, the advanced search tools are very good, and definitely read the terms of use.

Step 1:
Open your browser and navigate to This is the homepage for the collection.

Step 2:
Enter your search term into the Search box on the left of the page and click "Search" (I warned you this was a basic tutorial, bear with me)

Step 3:
You will then be shown a gallery of thumbnails of photographs matching you search term.

Step 4:
Click on a photograph that interests you and you will be taken to a detailed description.

Click on "Printable Version" to get a view of the information page that will print cleanly. Click on "Enlarge" for a better view of the picture. If you decide you want a high resolution copy of the photograph, click on "Order high res image". You can order as many different images as you want.

Step 5:
In order to get the high-res images, you will need to register. Click on the "Register" link in the Login box on the left of the page (of course, if you have already registered you can just log in); this will take you to the registration form. Fill it in and submit it.

Step 6:
Once you are logged in click on "View order" on the left side of the page, This will bring up a list of the images you have requested. To place the order (remember there is no cost involved) click on "Order".

Your order will now be processed and in a few minutes an email will be sent to the address you registered with. This email will contain a link to a temporary page were you can download you images.

-- Be aware that these are going to be Big files, so be prepared for long download times if you are not on broadband.
-- Please read the terms of use. These are pretty clear and straight-forward.