Freshwater and Marine Image Bank

Explore Collection
Picture Gallery, International Fisheries Exhibition, London, England, 1883
Picture Gallery, London, 1883

The Freshwater and Marine Image Bank is a digital collection of images related to freshwater and marine topics, in all their diversity. It includes images of fish, shellfish, and marine mammals, pictures of fish hatcheries and dams and vessels, materials related to polar exploration, regional and traditional fisheries, and limnological (freshwater) subjects. Its scope is global.

People have always been fascinated by aquatic and marine stories and imagery. Many gorgeous 18th and 19th century books provide lovingly hand-colored images of curious fish and other living creatures. Narratives of exploration have included wonderful pictures of explorers crossing polar seas and icecaps. The publications of the U. S. Bureau of Fisheries and related agencies have included copious illustrations, of living creatures, fishery products, etc. Today, unfortunately, most of those images lay buried in aging volumes on fragile paper in obscure corners of library stacks.

We believe that there is still much interest and utility in these early illustrations, whether for those who are merely curious, or for students gathering illustrations for papers or for researchers.

Many such images, all located in the “public domain,” are included here, and they are copiously indexed. For the most part, the images have been scanned from volumes to be found in the University of Washington Libraries. The more than 21,000 images were taken from a variety of publications issued between 1735 and 1924.

About the Database

The images included in the Freshwater and Marine Image Bank were researched and scanned by the staff of the Fisheries-Oceanography Library of the University of Washington. The images were scanned in full color and saved (for the most part) in JPEG format. Some manipulation of the images was rarely done to insure the clearest possible digital images. The scanned images were then linked with descriptive data using the UW Content program. See the separate Bibliography for all image sources.

Other Sources

Other sources for digital images exist on the web. Among these are:


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