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Visual & Digital Literacy Guide

General Citation Rule for Visual and Media Resources

A great amount of time and effort is spent citing monographs, journals, articles and written resources.  Yet,  often many of us neglect to attribute image or media content.  Visual and media resources should be cited properly as well. As a general rule, the following attributes are often included: 

  • Artist
  • Title
  • Date of Original Resource
  • Format /Material of original
  • Dimensions
  • Ownership/Custodian of the media resource  (including collection name or unique identification number)

Image Citations

Below are general guidelines for citing image resources from publications along with caption rules for classroom presentation.

Chicago Manual of Style -

Bibliography - (General rules below, use periods, indent second line and list in alphabetical order by last name)

Adams, Adams. Ellery Lake. 1934. Silver gelatin print. 8 x
      10 in. Ansel Adams Trust. Yosemite, CA. Ansel
      Adams Our National Parks. 1992.

  • Creator(s) (last name, first name).
  • Title image/artwork in quotation marks or italics.
  • Date of image/artwork.
  • Medium.
  • Custodian of image/artwork (including collection name) or unique identification number.
  • Publication (from printed resource).
  • Date of publication.

Endnote/Footnote - (General rules above, use commas, indent first line and number sequentially as it appears in the paper.)

    1. Ansel Adams, Ellery Lake, 1934, Silver gelatin print, 8 x 10 in., Ansel Adams Trust, Yosemite, CA.

Adhere to the same rules as above except for the two rules below.

  • Begin with a sequential number as it appears in the paper.
  • Creator(s) (first name  last name) (opposite of a bibliography),

Presentation Caption  (use commas)

Fig 1. Ansel Adams, Ellery Lake, 1934, Silver gelatin print, 8 x 10 in., Ansel Adams Trust, Yosemite, CA.

  • Figure, illustration, ill. or fig.,
  • Creator'(s) (first name last name).
  • Title image/artwork in quotation marks or italics,
  • Date of image/artwork,
  • Medium,
  • Custodian of image/artwork (including collection name) or unique identification number.

Modern Language Association (MLA) Style

Museum/Library/Archive

Adams, Adams. 1934. Ellery Lake. [Silver gelatin print] Ansel Adams Trust. Yosemite, CA.

  • Creator(s) (last name, first name.
  • Year created.
  • Title.
  • [Format]
  • Museum/Institution, city or state.

Media Citations

Media comes in many physical forms (record, cassette, cds, film, vhs, dvd, etc.). It is often difficult to determine the best citation format. To help students and faculty with this challenge, we have provide general citation guidelines for multimedia as well as additional citation links.

Chicago Manual of Style

Bibliography: (General rules below, use periods and list in alphabetical order by last name)

Gary Ross. The Hunger Games. Motion Picture. Lionsgate
      Films, 2012. BlueRay

  • Creator/Director/Producer/Performer (last name, first name)
  • Title in quotation marks or italics.
  • Format (dvd, videocassette, etc.).
  • Studio or distributor.
  • Year released/copyrighted.

DVD/Blue Ray:

The Hunger Games. Gary Ross. USA: Lionsgate
      Films, 2012. BlueRay

  • Title in quotation marks or italics.
  • Creator/Director/Producer/Performer (first name last name)
  • Country of origin:
  • Studio or distributor.
  • Year released/copyrighted.
  • Format (dvd, videocassette, etc.).

Endnote/Footnote (General rule below, use commas, indent first line and number sequentially as it appears in the paper.)

     1.The Hunger Games, Director Gary Ross. BlueRay, Lionsgate Films, 2012.

  • Sequential number as it appears in the paper.
  • Title in quotation marks or italics,
  • Creator/Director/Producer/Performer (first name last name),
  • Format (dvd, videocassette, etc.),
  • Studio or distributor,
  • Year released.

Presentation Caption (use commas)

Fig. 1. Gary Ross. The Hunger Games. BlueRay. Lionsgate Films. 2012.

  • Figure or fig.,
  • Creator/Director/Producer/Performer (first name last name),
  • Title in quotation marks or italics,
  • Format (dvd, videocassette, etc.),
  • Studio or distributor,
  • Year released.

Modern Language Association (MLA) Style

Television Series

Lost. Created by J.J. Abrams, Jeffrey Lieber, and Damon Lindelof. Bad Robot, 2004-10.

  • Title (quotations or italics).
  • Creator, Director, Producer (last Name, first name).
  • Studio or distributor.
  • Date.

Online Image & Media Citations

Remember when citing online image and media content; it is important to track down the origin of the image and/or media. Pinterest and Wikipedia do not own the images or media. Below are some general guidelines to help with citing online image and media resources.

Chicago Manual of Style - Online Image

Bibliography - (General rule below, use periods, after the first line indent the remaining lines, and list in alphabetical order by last name)

Web Image

Estrin, James. “A Worshiper at St. Patrick's Cathedral on
    Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.” New York Times.
    November 27, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com
    /2011/11/28/nyregion/for-catholics-the-word-was-a
    -bit-different-amen.html?ref=us.&_r=0.

  • Creator's Last name, First Name.
  • Title in quotation marks or italics.
  • Format.
  • Publisher/Custodian.
  • Web accessed date (month/day/year)
  • URL

Image Database:

Vermeer , Jonhannas. The Letter. 1666. Rijksmuseum
    Amsterdam. http://luna.umassd.edu:8180/luna/servlet/
   detail/UMASSDVRCVRC~16~16~62512~116447.
   (accessed June 19, 2017)

  • Creator's (last name, first name).
  • Title in quotation marks or italics.
  • Date of artwork
  • Custodian of  artwork
  • Database URL
  • Web accessed date (month/day/year)

Endnote/Footnote - (General rule below, use commas, indent first line and number sequentially as it appears in the paper.)

            1. James Estrin, “A Worshiper at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan,” New York Times, November 27, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/nyregion/for-catholics-the-word-was-a-bit-different-amen.html?ref=us.&_r=0.

  • Creator's (first name last name),
  • Title in quotation marks or italics,
  • Date of image,
  • Custodian of image,
  • Web accessed date (month/day/year),
  • Database URL.

Chicago Manual of Style - Online Media

Bibliography - (General rule below, use periods, after the first line indent the remaining lines, and list in alphabetical order by last name)

Citation: A (Very) Brief Introduction. North Carolina State
      University Libraries.YouTubevideo. 1:54. Libncsu.July 23,
      2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMhMuVvXCVw

  • Creator's or Principle Subject (last name, first name).
  • Title of work or clip in quotation marks or italics.
  • Title of the main work if taken from a clip
  • Publisher of Video and format.
  • Time length of the recording.
  • Name of the person/organization responsible for online media and/or date of original.
  • Posted by (person/organization if different from publisher).
  • Upload date.
  • URL/URI.

Endnote/Footnote - (General rules above, use commas, indent first line and number sequentially as it appears in the paper.)

     1. John Harwood, The Pros and Cons of Biden, New York Times video, 2:00, August 23, 2008. https://www.
newyorktimes.com/watch?v=IMhMuVvXCVw.

Adhere to the same rules as above except for the two rules below.

  • Begin with a sequential number as it appears in the paper.
  • Creator(s) (first name  last name) (opposite of a bibliography),

Modern Language Association (MLA) Style - Online Image & Media Citations

Online Image Citation

Vermeer, Johannes. Woman in Blue Reading a Letter. ca. 1663-1664 Oil on canvas, Rijksmuseum. On loan from the City of Amsterdam. J. Paul Getty Museum. Web. 06/17 accessed. http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/vermeer/

  • Creator(s) (last name, first name).
  • Title.
  • Year created.
  • Format,
  • Museum/Institution, location.
  • Website Title
  • Web.
  • Date month/year accessd.
  • URI

Image from Database

Vermeer, Johannes. The Letter. Rijksmuseum = The Museum of the Netherlands, Amsterdam. 1666. UMassD LUNA Database. Web. 06/17 accessed. http://lunaumassd.edu
:8180./luna/servlet/detail/UMASSDVRCVRC~16~16~
62512~116447

  • Creator(s) (last name, first name).
  • Title.
  • Year created.
  • Format,
  • Museum/Institution, location.
  • Database Title.
  • Web.
  • Date Month Year Accessed.
  • URI