The British Library

Our Website - what's new?

Images Online custom colours

Images Online's new website has many new and inovative features. To help guide you through the changes we wanted to show you how you can tailor the website to your own style when searching for images and organising your lightboxes and shopping baskets.

Changing how images display - display it your way

images online search results

Once you have entered a search term you will be taken straight to the results page. At the top right of your browser window a bar will appear. The innovative Images Online system allows you to change the size of your thumbnails, how many thumbnails display per page and the background colour. You can close the bar at anytime.

Banner and options bar

From the open bar you will see the following options:-

  • Autozoom: Large preview 'pop-up' when you hover your cursor over a thumbnail.
  • Show captions: Turns on or off cation details for your search results.
  • Thumbnail size: Change  the size of the image thumbnail
  • Images per Page: Choose how many image results you wish to dispaly on a page.
  • Background Color: This option allows you to change the colour of your search results page to any of the presets available.
Bar options

Liquid Thumbs - widening your horizon

Images Online liquid thumbs

Our team at Images Online have always been frustrated by the display of panoramic images being so limited with traditional thumbnails. This problem has been overcome with the introduction of 'Liquid Thumbs'.

Old style thumbs

  Old style grid layout

The liquid thumb technology looks at the dimensions of our images and whenever the image is wider than it is tall it compensates by displaying a double sized thumbnail in the grid. This is especially helpful with our maps and a few surprising items in our collection. We have also taken the opportunity to dispense with the defined grid which present our images in a much cleaner, crisper, less regimented environment.


Liquid thumbs

  New 'liquid' thumbnail layout


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Lightboxes and shopping baskets - total user control

Lightbox and shopping basket

Images Online allows you to view your lightboxes and shopping baskets while you are researching your images. Lighboxes and shopping baskets can be accessed at the bottom of your search results screen. If you need multiple lightboxes or shopping baskets you can quickly and easily change your view using the drop down menus. If you are not logged in you will be asked to login if you want to add images to a basket.

To add multiple images just clik on each image, the selcted images will show a red border, then click on a lightbox or basket icon under any of the selected images to add all the images to your lightbox or basket. Depending on your preference, you can add to either the front or the back of your lightbox (or basket). When you have added an image, to either a basket or lightbox, the icons under the image will change to red to keep you upto date on what you have chosen. To de-select an image simply click again on the red icon and the image is removed.

  Icon set

Multiple images

Each lightbox has a full set of  'Actions' available. Amongst these are the ability to share, email, print, and annotate your lightbox and images. If you have lots of images in your lightbox, you can increase or decrease the size of the display by clicking on the tab at the top of the lighbox and dragging the tab up or down to re-size the lightbox.


Lighbox options

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PLUS -  the global image licensing standard

Use Plus Logo

The British Library has enhanced your Images Online experience by adopting the global standard for image licensing: the Picture Licensing Universal System, simply known as PLUS. Developed collaboratively by all industries involved in creating, distributing, using and preserving images, the PLUS standards simplify and facilitate the licensing and management of images.  Each image usage is clearly defined, categorized and codified, resulting in licenses that are both easily understood, and readily managed.
To learn more about PLUS visit

COOLIRIS - browse images like never before


Images Online have added Cooliris functionality for displaying our images. Cooliris has the ability to present our images as an infinite '3D' wall, it allows you to quickly scroll through content without clicking through pages. It also links to your lightboxes presenting you with the option of slide shows or the '3d' wall. If you haven't got a Cooliris enabled browser you can get the plug-in at

Cooliris - Images Online

If you have Cooliris installed for your web browser, the icon in the top right of your browser tool bar will change colour to show that Cooliris is active and available. Cooliris revolutionizes how you find, view, and display images, letting you enjoy our fabulous images without clicking page to page.


Cooliris browser icon

Cooliris browser icon

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