AIRS Academic Image Reference Service

Academic Image Reference Service

Serving Schools, Libraries, and Individuals Worldwide
Owned and operated by AIRS, LLC.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is AIRS?
AIRS is the Academic Image Reference Service, a historical image and knowledge database. AIRS is devoted to schools, libraries, institutions, and individuals engaged in non-commercial, educational, and/or research activities. AIRS unique, ever-expanding image repository offers students, teachers and patrons a valuable service and a gratifying experience. Learn more about AIRS.
Is AIRS a static database?
AIRS is constantly growing and expanding. There are more than 6 million images in the Jay Robert Nash Collection. The portion currently online increases every day as new images are added, the database is continually being updated, and AIRS regularly implements new improvements and enhancements.

To see newly-added images, click on Recent Additions (after logging in) to view tens of thousands of images already in progress. AIRS makes these images available to allow you to download them as desired, even before the accompanying text is finalized.
What are AIR's terms of usage?
You may use AIRS images for a wide range of educational applications, including (but not limited to) educational and/or research aids, lesson studies, term papers, thesis, reports, posters, placards, presentations, school newsletters, publications, theatrical scenes, backdrops, stage settings, quizzes, student projects, non-profit handouts, promotional materials -- there are unlimited possibilities. However, AIRS images may not be used for commercial purposes or published on open-access websites, with the exception of school, college, or university-publication websites.
May I publish a document which I composed on AIRS as my own document?
Yes, and AIRS encourages you to do so -- provided that your end usage is in compliance with the application guidelines described above. Also remember that it is usually best to identify your image sources in your documents (this is a common requirement for term papers, reports, etc).
Can I publish AIRS images in a book, or resell the images, or publish them online?
AIRS content can be used for educational purposes, but not for commercial applications. For example, you may use AIRS images for personal use and/or in applications in line with those described above, but you may not re-sell the images or otherwise use them in any for-profit enterprise. Similarly, you may publish AIRS images on any website requiring password credentials to gain access, but you may not publish AIRS images on any open (i.e. publicly-accessible) website, with the exception of school, college, or university-publication websites.
Does AIRS offer images at higher resolutions and sizes for commercial applications?
Yes. You can acquire commercial-use versions of all AIRS images on a royalty-free basis through All AIRS images are available at 300dpi resolution in TIF format (the standard image format for the publishing industry). No visible watermarks are present on 300dpi/TIF images and the dimensions are typically much larger than the 150dpi/JPEG images.
What are AIR's downloadable image specifications?
All AIRS downloadable images are in JPEG format at 150dpi resolution. This is much higher than the resolutions used by most Windows and Mac applications (96dpi is the Windows standard and 72dpi is the Mac standard). AIRS images have a maximum width or height dimension of 1024 pixels. A small semi-transparent watermark appears in the extreme bottom right corner of each image.
Are there restrictions or limits on the number of downloads?
At the present time there are no daily download limits. You may download as many images as you like, you may compose and download as many documents as you wish, and you may log in as often as desired.
How do I edit a downloaded image?
If you need to edit a downloaded image, you should load it directly into a suitable image editor. There are hundreds of such editing programs and they all have pro's and con's. The best program is the one most suitable to what you need to accomplish.

Tip: Image editing can be a bit complicated. A Google search turns up thousands of pages on this subject. There is a lot to know and if you haven't done it before, AIRS encourages you to learn as much as possible before you start editing images.
How do I edit a downloaded document?
By default, AIRS documents are stored as complete web pages (unless you specify a particular document format). These can easily be opened by most word-processing programs such as Word, WordPerfect, OpenSource Write, Pages, Scrivener, and many others. For the Internet-savvy, you can also open your composed document in any HTML editing program, then print or save it in whatever format you so choose.

Tip: The appearance and formatting of a document in a program may be different than what actually appears when printed. Always use the program's Print Preview feature to insure your document truly looks the way you want it to look.
How do I access AIRS through a school or library?
All you normally have to do is click on the link the school or library provides to you. However, if an institution provides you with access codes, you will be permitted to log in only if the IP address from which your computer is communicating is on the institution's approved IP list.

Schools and libraries generally communicate with services like AIRS through a specific set of IP addresses, which are defined in the institution's own network. If you have special needs in this regard, you must speak directly to the institution's technical personnel so that they can assist you with setting up authorized access.

Institutions advise AIRS in advance which IP addresses are permitted for their students and/or patrons. AIRS stores this information and applies it as part of its authentication protocols during login. This is for everyone's protetion.

Note that individual research accounts have no IP address restrictions. You may log into an individual research account from anywhere, using any computer.
Can I try AIRS before I subscribe?
Yes, you can take AIRS for a test drive before subscribing. Guest accounts are valid for 24 hours, during which you may review all AIRS system features at your leisure (you may download up to 5 images and compose up to 5 documents).
Where can I get more information?
Please refer to the AIRS information page for additional details.
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