The image archive

prometheus is a distributed digital image archive for art and cultural studies. The prometheus image archive brings together heterogeneous and distributed image and media databases from a wide range of institutions and enables image searches through a single interface. The image providers make their databases available to research and teaching free of charge.

prometheus does not make a profit and is supported by a non-profit association for the purpose of promoting science and research through the development, provision and application of digital media in the field of art and cultural history. The license fees charged for the use of the image archive are used exclusively for the maintenance and support of the archive and its users.

At a glance: Download our prometheus Flyer!

Searching – Search in multiple image databases within one surface

Currently you can search in 115 image databases of art, design and architecture history, theology, history and archaeology and other image-based disciplines with a total of 2,850,866 images. You can use the simple search or the advanced search. The advanced search allows you to combine and filter the search terms in different ways, or to make a database selection. The search is also multilingual, i.e. hits with English search terms in German-language databases – and vice versa. Feel free to use our rating and comment function to judge the quality of the images.

Collecting – Assemble your topical images in one place

You can store the images you might need for a seminar, a presentation, or a research paper in image collections. You can add images to these at any time and access them regardless of location. Additional information for the characterization of the image collection (description, keywords) or information on research literature and further links can be stored in the as well. You also have the option of sharing the image collection with all or single users for reading or directly for collaboration. You can store important work objects in your personal favorites bar so that you can always reach them quickly.
Besides creating image collections, you also have the possibility to upload and upload your own images to your personal database.

Presenting – Present your assembled images location-independently

You have the option to download the image collections (images and metadata) you have created directly as an automatically generated PowerPoint presentation. Alternatively, you can of course download the images and integrate them manually and into your local presentation program.

Publishing – Inform yourself about copyrights and publish images

Directly at the image you will find a link to the image rights of the respective image, which explains which rights have to be obtained for a publication. In some cases, it is possible to obtain publication permission for an image directly through prometheus.

For the use of the images in research and teaching, prometheus has signed a contract with the VG Bild-Kunst, which on the one hand permits the accessibility of the images in prometheus through the various image databases and on the other hand allows the use for research and teaching (see also » Image rights and publication). Obtaining publication permission for images from the bpk – Bildagentur für Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte for non-commercial, scientific publications is also possible directly via a link next to the respective images.

We will be happy to consult you on general legal, content-related and research questions via telephone and email.