Utah Photos in Online Government Digital Libraries

MoabAre you in need of that perfect Utah photo for your library website?   Did you know that U.S. Federal government agencies offer some of the richest collections of photos relating to Utah?  If you rely on Google Images for finding photos of Utah, you’re missing the big picture.     

The Bureau of Land Management, for example, has recently launched an enhanced version of their BLM Photo Library,, that contains 60,000 digital photographs in the public domain of landscapes and historical images that primarily of public lands in 12 Western state including Utah. The Utah photos include those of arches, rock formations, scenery, rangeland, wild mustangs, cowboys, Indian rock art, and oil and mineral extraction.  The collection cannot be browsed and retrieving images using the search is dicey because search terms have to match those in the limited metadata associated with each photo.  Searches for features and places seem to retrieve the best results.  Because the photos are in the public domain, this may be a great resource for teachers, webmasters, local governments, and those needing photos for tourism and related needs.  A shopping cart feature allows users to collect several images and then download them in a compressed folder.
Some other federal government agencies that have large public collections of photographs of scenes in Utah include:

Department of the Interior

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Bureau of Reclamation

National Biological Information Infrstructure

U.S. Geological Survey

USDA Forest Service

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Ray Matthews

National Park Service

Published by

Ray Matthews

Government Documents and Digital Library Services Coordinator, Utah State Library