Image Use Guidelines

Click here to read our Image Use Policy in full.



In May 2019, with the launch of its new online platform, the Arab Image Foundation adopted a more open policy concerning use of digital representations depicting items in its collection and the items’ accompanying metadata.


Through this policy, the AIF grants -as far as possible- permission to use images for non-commercial purposes, including the purposes of individual research. We encourage use for artistic, educational or scholarly purposes that can be deemed non-commercial.

- The accompanying item metadata is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence CC BY SA Attribution-ShareAlike.

- Images may not be remixed/changed/transformed nor derivatives made, including cropping and any altering, without the prior consent of the AIF and provided the collections’ agreements provisions allow such use.

- Users are allowed to modify the background on which the image or item was placed.

- Currently, as a registered user, you may download images as PDF files.


The AIF collection is made up of purchases, gifts, exchanges and field collections that were accessioned with different legal agreements. These agreements were drafted in such a way as to take into account ownership rights, provenance, the personal nature of images, and political, historical, and religious sensitivities. In most cases, the foundation does not have copyright for all the images, and rights around photographic images are complex.

Please note that our access policy has been developed in a way that continues to acknowledge privacy rights, donor-imposed regulations or other rights restrictions, but we are doing our best to make the collection as open and usable as possible.

The Foundation is committed to reviewing all contracts of collections and items to move towards a more “open” position but it is a gradual process. The foundation continues to conduct research on the copyright and other rights status of the materials in the collection, including orphan works and works that are potentially in the public domain. We will continue to update the Image Use Policy as well as add new standardized and machine readable licenses to items.

If you have any questions regarding the rights or license status of an item, please contact imaging@arabimagefoundation.org


Image reproductions must be credited as “Courtesy of the Arab Image Foundation” and accompanied by the corresponding caption supplied by the AIF containing the information noted below.
Captions are usually in the format below:
“[Inventory number of the object], [Name of the collection] collection. Courtesy of the Arab Image Foundation.” unless otherwise noted.
Captions can be found on the item’s page, or in the metadata of the image file once downloaded.
Properly citing items from the AIF collection, and informing us when you reproduce them, helps the AIF to keep track of the lives of items in its collection.



Once registered, you are free to download and use the images and descriptions on this website in line with their licence restrictions. Please review the full Image Use Policy page for more details. Additionally, metadata, including longer text descriptions about collections, photographers, collectors and artists are released under a Creative Commons Licence CC BY SA Attribution-ShareAlike.

To obtain images at a higher resolution, please submit an image request.


Any commercial use of images must receive prior approval from the AIF, and is subject to restrictions. A fee may apply, depending on the intended use and additional digitisation costs.
To seek permission to reproduce an image in a commercial context,, please submit an image request. Your request will be answered within five working days.
If your request is urgent, please contact us on +961 (0) 1 569 373.


The AIF welcomes donations towards the costs of digitising, documenting and maintaining the collection and managing the online catalogue. Donate online.