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Research and publications

Online image library: frequently asked questions

  1. Searches
  2. Orders
  3. Images
  4. Lightboxes and baskets

1. Searches

On the search page, there are different search boxes. Do I use them together as one complex search? Or do I use them separately?

On the search page, there are four search boxes. These are separate and independent search tools.

  • Use the Search by keyword box to look for images that represent different topics e.g. frogs or recycling.
  • Use the Search selected images box to view albums of some of the library's best images pre-selected by the librarian.
  • Use the Search by national park box to view images for a particular park.
  • Use the Search national parks images by region to view images of national parks within a particular tourist region.

If you need to do a more complex search, click the Advanced Search link at the top of the search page. Use the advanced search to specify a search with multiple filters e.g. title includes the word 'homestead' and national park name includes the word 'Yanga'.

Sometimes the system will not let me search for a particular national park. But I know there are images of that park in the collection. What's the problem?

On the search page, you can see a national parks search box. If you start typing in the name of a national park, after three characters the system will display a list of possible matching park names from which you can select a name for searching.

If the system doesn't display a name that you were expecting, possible reasons might be:

  • You may have spelled the first three characters incorrectly. Try the search again with a different spelling e.g. start typing 'Bow' instead of 'Bor' if you want to search for Bowraville Nature Reserve.
  • The park name may have changed. The latest approved name for the park is the name that must be used for the national park search. Can't find a match for Botany Bay National Park? Start typing 'Kam' for Kamay Botany Bay National Park.
  • You may have typed the words in a long name out of order. Can't find a match for Bulga Birwal National Park? Start typing 'Bir' for Birwal Bulga National Park.

If you still can't find the right park name to start a national park search, try different search tool.

Try a keyword search using one or more words from the park name. For example, you might be looking for images of the 'Mount Warning National Park'. Enter 'Mount Warning' as the term for the keyword search. The system will return images that have the words Mount and Warning in any metadata field. If you look at their image details, you will see that national park name is now 'Wollumbin National Park (formerly Mount Warning)'.

When I do an advanced search, what terms can I put into the different filters?

For an advanced search you must specify one or more filters that look for values in particular image detail fields.

The image detail fields that you can use as filters and the type of values that you can enter for the filter are:

  • item no: enter the library id of an image, e.g. 105069
  • title: enter any words that might be in the title field, e.g. children playing
  • image creator name: enter one or more words from the photographer's name, e.g. Joanna Jones
  • national park name: enter one or more words from the national park name, you don't have to search for the complete name, e.g. a filter value might be 'Botany Bay'
  • botanic garden name: enter one or more words from the botanic name, you don't have to search for the complete name, e.g. a filter value might be 'Annan'
  • fauna scientific and common name: enter one or more terms from a fauna name, e.g. Platycercus
  • flora scientific and common name: enter one or more terms for a flora name, e.g. Acacia
  • broad term: this is a library classification for describing the general area of OEH business that images represent. To create a broad term filter, enter one or more words from one of the broad term in the list of broad terms below.

What broad terms can I use?

The following broad terms are used to classify images.


Aboriginal cultural heritage  
Aboriginal people and activities
Animal rescue
Art and illustrations


Backgrounds and textures
Beaches and sea
Botanic gardens
Buildings and infrastructure


Caves and karst
Chemicals and pesticides
Cities and towns
Commercial business operations
Community conservation area




Education and schools
Energy, electricity and fuels
Environment protection and regulation
European cultural heritage
Events and promotion


Farming and agriculture




Hazardous materials and contamination
Health and safety
Historic site


Illegal activities
Interpretive material


Landscape and habitats


Marine park


National park
Nature reserve



Park facilities
Park operations
People and wildlife
People at work
People at work OEH staff Bush regeneration
People at work OEH staff Children
People at work OEH staff Contractors
People at work OEH staff Fire management
People at work OEH staff Office
People at work OEH staff Park operations
People at work OEH staff Pest management
People at work OEH staff Science field
People at work OEH staff Science laboratory
People at work OEH staff Track construction
People at work OEH staff Volunteers
People at work OEH staff Weed management
People in parks

Recycling and re-use
Regional parks
Rivers, lakes and wetlands
Rocks and mining


Science fieldwork
Science laboratory
Site remediation and rehabilitation
Sponsorships and partnerships corporate
Sponsorships and partnerships interagency
State conservation area
Sustainable business
Sustainable farming
Sustainable housing
Sustainable living
Sustainable transport


Tools and machinery
Trades and industry


Utility services electricity sewerage plants gas tanks

Vegetation and forests


Water usage and management

2. Orders

I just want to order one image. What do I have to do?

Steps to order an image quickly and simply are:

  • Enter words that describe the image subject you are looking for in the 'search by keyword' box and click the search button.
  • Look through the image thumbnails displayed on the search results page to select the image you want. Click on the image thumbnail to open up the image details page.
  • On the image details page check the licence type and licence conditions to make sure they cover your proposed use, also check the available formats to make sure the image is available in the size you need.
  • Click the basket icon that appears under the image details. This will add the image to your shopping basket, which appears in the right hand panel.
  • In the right hand basket panel, under basket actions, click proceed to order. The order details page will open.
  • Select the image format you want from the format dropdown list beside the image thumbnail, enter your project details, tick to confirm that you have read the image library terms and conditions, then click the submit button.
  • Your order is complete. Your order will be reviewed by the OEH image librarian, who will send you an email to let you know if the order has been approved and how you can collect your image.

These steps are just the basics. When you have some time, explore the library to find out what else you can do.

How frequently can I use an image after it is supplied to me? Is it just for the purpose I stated in the order?

Unless the librarian advises otherwise in the email that is sent to you when your order is approved, the image(s) in your order have been approved for use only once and only for the purpose that you stated when you submitted your order.

For your own reference, it is advisable to print a copy of your order, so that you have a clear record of the purpose for which the image use was approved.

I'm a DPIE employee. Do I have to pay for images that I order from the library?

When a DPIE staff member who is a registered user views an image in the library or orders an image, the price will generally be $0.

If you a DPIE staff member and are generally seeing images prices then it is likely you have not logged in or have registered using non-DPIE email or staff details.

3. Images

What are specific licence conditions for an image and where do I find them?

Every image in the library is the subject of a licence agreement that has been negotiated between the image supplier and DPIE. DPIE can use the image or licence other parties to use the image only in accordance with conditions set out in the licence agreement.

The majority of images in the library have conditions that allow a very broad range of uses. Some images have more restrictive conditions.

The specific conditions are displayed as part of the image details. To view image details:

  • Click on the image thumbnail that appears on your search results page, lightbox page, basket page or order page.
  • Or you can click on the information icon that appears under the image thumbnail.

About halfway down the image details page you will see licence type:

  • Unlimited usage means DPIE can use or licence other parties to use the images in ways that it considers appropriate without limits on media, distribution or market use or licence expiry period.
  • Limited usage there may be one or more restrictions on the way the image can be used in regard to media distribution, market use or licence expiry period.

If the licence type is limited usage, you must check if specific licence conditions cover your proposed use:

  • Media shows the different media in which the image can be used, e.g. an image may be restricted to print only.
  • Distribution shows the geographic areas in which a publication or other product that contains the image can be distributed e.g. products that use some images may be restricted to distribution in Australia and New Zealand. (Please note: images to be used in materials that will be web-distributed cannot use images that do not allow worldwide distribution.)
  • Market use shows the type of product in which images can be used, e.g. some images are restricted to use in non-commercial products.
  • Licence expiry indicates if there is an end date for image use, e.g. if an image is licensed with an expiry date of 20-09-2012, you must be prepared to cease using the image after that date.
  • Additional licence conditions shows any further restrictions, e.g. 'image can only be used to promote tourism in national parks'.

Before I place an order, how I can I find out what formats are available for an image?

Available formats for an image are listed at the bottom of the image details page.

If you view any library page that shows image thumbnails, you can open up the image details page for a particular image by clicking on the image thumbnail itself or by clicking the information icon under the image thumbnail.

I want to order an image, but it is only available in a small format. Other images are available in large format, so why not the image I want?

The available formats for an image depend on the size of the original image file that was placed in the library.

A number of older but still valuable and useful images were only supplied as low resolution images or originally scanned and added to the library as small image files. Therefore they can only be ordered in smaller formats. Some images could be rescanned but this would be a 'special order' and you may be required to pay for re-scanning.

If the small size of the available format(s) for an image is not appropriate for your use:

  • Consider if you really need a large format. Low resolution 72 dpi format images display well in PowerPoint presentations and as small format images on web pages.
  • Consider using an alternative image from the library.
  • If you can't find an alternative image in the library, you may be able to obtain a suitable image from another source. A Google search will provide links to other photolibraries or OEH staff can look on OEH intranet for a list of suggested sites.

When I order an image, what image format should I select?

It depends on the purpose for which you want to use the image. Possible image formats, in increasing order of size, are:

  • very low resolution for PowerPoint or mockups: 72 dpi
  • low resolution for PowerPoint or mockups: 72 dpi
  • small high resolution A6: 300dpi RGB
  • medium high resolution A5: 300dpi RGB
  • large high resolution A4: 300 dpi RGB

If you want an image for a PowerPoint presentation, a web page or publication mockup, your best choice is a low resolution 72 dpi (dots per inch) format.

Some of the older images in the library are only available in the smallest format, very low resolution 72 dpi. This is acceptable for a PowerPoint presentation, a web page or a publication mock up.

If you want an image for a printed publication, select a high resolution 300 dpi RGB (red green blue colour schema) in the appropriate size. If you need a poster or display-optimised image, please contact the image librarian.

All images will be supplied to you as jpg files.

4. Lightboxes and baskets

What is a lightbox and how do I use it?

A lightbox is a convenient container in which registered users can store a selection of images thumbnails between library sessions. You can create multiple lightboxes each with its own name to hold different selections of images. For example, if you are an author working on several publications, you might want to organise a lightbox for each publication.

Registered users will be given a 'default' lightbox. Only you have access to your lightboxes.

Add image thumbnails to the lightbox by drag and dropping them into the lightbox panel on the right side of your screen. Or click the lightbox icon that appears under an image.

The images will remain in your lightbox between sessions, until you decide to remove them from the lightbox.

To create a new lightbox, or copy, view, email or print an existing one, use the Lightbox panel on the right side of the screen or select 'Lightbox' from the top menu.

Using a lightbox, you can keep a number of images together for comparison until you decide which one(s) to order. You can copy some or all of the images in a lightbox to your basket for ordering.

You can generate an email with the thumbnails of images in a lightbox, and your own message. You might use this facility to send a selection of images to a colleague asking for advice about which images might be best for a particular publication.

If you are a registered user and another registered user sends you a lightbox email, the system will automatically create a copy of the lightbox for your personal use so you can make changes to it without altering the sender's lightbox.

The lightbox/basket panel on the right side of the screen has an instruction 'drag images here'. Sometimes dragging doesn't work. Why not?

It sounds like you have been trying to drag the image from an individual image details screen. This does not work.

If you are viewing a search results page that shows one or more image thumbnails, you can add an image to your lightbox or basket by placing your cursor on the thumbnail and dragging it to the side panel. Or you can click the lightbox icon or basket icon under the image thumbnail

If you a viewing an individual image details page (a page that has a the image in the left corner and the image details in the body of the page) you can only add the image to your lightbox or basket by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and clicking the lightbox icon or basket icon .

Dragging the image from the left top corner of the image details page into the side panel does not work, even though the 'drag images here' message may appear on the panel. This is a system anomaly that the library software vendor has been asked to correct.

Page last updated: 29 July 2019