Medical Picture Libraries

Medical picture libraries are used extensively by educators, researchers, publishers and others who want to obtain high quality medical imagery for use in a variety of ways including publication in books, journals and the web, and for educational use such as lectures and teaching packages. These libraries rely on imagery supplied from a wealth of photographers and artists, all of whom benefit from royalty payments made when images are used. However, many of the images that are required are so specialised that they may be difficult to obtain unless the donor actually works within some very specialised fields. Clinical photographers and artists often have unique access to such imagery and as such are ideally placed to obtain the type of images that medical picture libraries desire, subject to suitable consent. However, it can be a little daunting knowing how to go about submitting to libraries. IMI has therefore been working with  the main medical picture libraries to collate all the necessary information together which can be accessed via the link below.

Science Photo Library

The Science Photo Library was created in 1981. The founder, Michael Marten, had just finished publishing a popular book on the world seen through modern scientific imaging techniques. Other publishers started to ask if they could use these images for other books. Michael saw the business potential of this and the company was born.

In the years that followed, SPL became known in the publishing world as an excellent source of images of science, technology and medicine. The company formed alliances with photo agencies in other countries and sought out the very best image makers from around the world to provide its content. From an early date, it was decided to include technical images as well as documentary and aesthetically-led images to allow as wide a portrayal of science as possible.

Today the company has more than 30 employees at its office in west London. The SPL on-line collection of around 500,000 images is represented by partner agencies in more than 60 countries. Between us we issue approximately 65,000 image licences per year. Most recently SPL has made a major investment in creating Science Motion, a stock footage library that now has over 40,000 clips.

Despite its growth, SPL has never lost sight of the key components of it business, providing our clients with superb, often unique, images in a timely and professional manner and looking after our contributors by presenting their work accurately accompanied by the best captions in the stock photography business.


SPL Submission Guidelines


SPL Medical Subjects


SLP Brochure


Model Release Form for Adult


Introduction to SPL for IMI


SPL Institutional Contract - NHS Trusts