Getting Started

Welcome to the Environment & Heritage Portfolio’s image collection. You can search, view, save and order images related to the NSW environment, national parks and heritage.

You need to register to get the most out of the image library. Unregistered users are limited to searching a restricted collection of images.

Once you’ve chosen your images and sent us your order, we’ll make the images available for download when payment (if required) is received. If payment is required, you can phone us with your credit card details or pay by cheque.

Accessing the Library

You can use the OEH library from most of the commonly used operating system and browser platforms. In particular, we support:

Operating System Browser Version
Windows Firefox 3+, IE 10+, Chrome, Opera 9+
Mac OS X Safari 3.1.1+, Firefox 2+


Cookies are small amounts of information stored on your computer by Internet sites you visit. You must choose to accept the cookie when prompted, in order to log in to the image library. You may need to setup cookies for MS Internet Explorer™ :

  • Go to Tools > Internet Options > Privacy > Advanced
  • Choose 'Override automatic cookie handling'
  • Choose 'Prompt' for First-party Cookies
  • Choose 'Prompt' for Third-party Cookies

This setting will allow you either to accept or reject the cookies. Please log in to the image library again after changing the cookie setting.

Downloading images

If you are having problems downloading please check with your network administrator to see if there are download restrictions in place with your network or ISP.

If you have difficulty downloading files, your Internet connection may be busy. Please try again later.

Contact the Administrator

For further information, please contact the administrator.



How to register

You can browse through the library before you register and see a small sample of images that show the scope and quality of the collection.

To view the wider collection, save searches in your lightboxes or order images, you must become a registered user and agree to abide by the library's terms and conditions.

Complete the registration form to obtain a username and password to access all the functions of the site.




The Environment and Heritage Portfolio’s online image library provides several searching tools each tailored to help you find particular images

By Keyword

The Basic Search box is at the top of the search page. Use this search when you are looking for images on a particular topic, e.g. tree frogs or recycling.

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


Search tips

  • Words in your search term are treated as being joined by 'and' operators. For example, 'climate change soil erosion' will result in a search for images with the words 'climate and change and soil and erosion' occurring in their metadata.
  • An asterisk can be used for wildcard searching. For example, the search term 'Kos*' will find all images with metadata containing one or more words starting with 'Kos'.
  • Avoid using special characters (other than asterisk) in search terms.
  • If a search term is a noun, the system will match it against both single and plural word endings, e.g. the word 'tree' in your search term will be matched against 'tree' or 'trees'.
  • To search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in double quotes e.g. "water hose"
  • If a search term is a verb, the system will match it against different verb form endings, e.g. 'garden' will be matched against images with 'garden' or 'gardening'.

Can't find what you are looking for?

When your search doesn't return what you are looking for, try:

  • checking and correcting any misspelt words
  • searching using only one term rather than a phrase
  • using alternative terms (e.g. beach, sea, ocean)
  • using a broader term (e.g. 'staff' rather than 'receptionist')
  • avoiding search terms that have contractions (e.g. Mt, Mount)
  • using a wildcard search, i.e. enter the first few characters in the word, followed by an asterisk, for example: eco*
  • using a different search tool.

View a selection of images

A number of the very best images in the OEH library have been grouped into albums that showcase ENVIRONMENT & HERITAGE PORTFOLIO's image collection and work.

Albums can be viewed using the Basic search at the top of the search page. Click in the search box and select a category from the drop down list. Then select an album within that category and click the search button. Note: you must select both a category and an album.

Remember: an album is a limited collection of images on a particular subject. You may be able to find more images on the same subject if you use another search tool that allows you to search across the wider collection.

National park search by name

Search national park images by name

You can search for a national park in the Basic search box or if you’re not sure of the spelling, use the Search field below. Select the icon to the left and choose ‘National Park’. Start typing the park name within the search field. After you have entered the first three characters of a park name, a list of possible matches will appear. Select a park from the list, then click the ‘+‘ button to the right of the field to enter the park name into the Basic search box.

Repeat if you want to find images from more than one park in one search.

Finally, click the search button to display the specific park/s images.

FAQ ­– 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?

Advanced search

Use the advanced search when you want to find images using particular metadata categories (e.g. title includes 'industry' and creator is 'Fred Smith').

Select the Search field beneath Basic search and create search filters by selecting the terms below from the drop down list. Use ‘+’ to include them or ‘-‘ to not include them in the search.   

  • item no
  • broad term
  • title
  • image creator name
  • national park
  • botanic garden
  • fauna scientific and common name
  • flora scientific and common name

FAQ – What broad terms can I use?

The steps for creating a search filter using any of these metadata items are:

  • select a metadata item, for example 'title'
  • select a filter type, either ‘+’ includes them or ‘-‘ does not include
  • enter your search terms, e.g. 'industry recycling' .

Search filters and search terms are treated as being joined by 'and' operators. For example an advanced search with filters:

     title includes 'climate change'

     broad term includes 'soil'

is treated as a search for 'title includes climate and change and broad term includes soil'.

A search filter in the form 'item does not include' is treated as being joined to other search terms by an 'and' operator.

For example the advanced search with filters:

     image creator name includes 'smith'

     title does not include 'industrial'

is treated as a search for 'creator name includes smith and title does not include industrial'.

You can specify multiple search filters for an advanced search. However, it is generally advisable to start with one broad filter, and then add more filters to reduce the number of possible matching images, until you find what you are looking for.

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

Search 'within results'

If your search returns too many images, you might want to use the 'Within last search' box, located above the search results thumbnails to further refine the search.

For example a search for the 'Outback NSW' might return a large number of images. If you want to search within those results for images of a particular park:

  • click in the Search within results field above the results
  • enter a search term, e.g. 'Kinchega'
  • click the search button.


Using lightboxes and ordering

Saving image thumbnails in lightboxes

Registered users can save thumbnails of images in your lightboxes to help you retrieve them at a later date or for emailing to colleagues.

Select lightbox tab at top of page and click New to create a new lightbox.  To add image thumbnails, tick check box of thumbnail. Select ‘With checked items’ field above the thumbnails. A drop down menu selection will appear. Select Copy to Lightbox. 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.

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.

To create a new lightbox, or copy, view, email or print an existing one, select 'Lightbox' from the top menu.

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.

FAQ – What is a lightbox and how do I use it?


Saving images to your basket

If you are considering ordering images, you need to add them to your basket using one of the following methods:

  • clicking the basket icon under an image
  • selecting the option to copy images from one of your lightboxes to your basket.

To view the contents, select 'Basket' from the bottom left hand corner of page.

By clicking on an item, in your basket, you will open up the information page for the item and be able to view specific licence conditions for the item.

If you have any queries about the image licence conditions or prices, contact the OEH Image librarian before ordering the image.


Ordering Images

When you have finalised your selection of images and have placed them in your basket, click 'Proceed to order'.

All image orders are referred to our Image librarian for review and approval. On the order page you must:

  • select the format you require for each image
  • make a final check of licence conditions for each image
  • complete details about the project in which the images are to be used
  • provide any other information which may be relevant to the Image librarian's review of your order.

In the project details part of the order page, you will see an 'Additional information' box. You can enter any details that you feel may be relevant to the Image librarian's review of your order.

When you have finalised your order confirm that you have read and agree to the library terms and conditions, then click Submit.

Your order will be submitted for approval to the OEH Image librarian.

The OEH Image librarian will review your order within one business day. You will receive an email to let you know when your order has been approved. Once payment is received the image will be available.

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

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



If there is a charge for the images you have ordered, the library will accept payment by cheque or by credit card over the phone.

If your order has been approved and there is a charge for the images, the Image librarian will confirm the payment amount in an email to you. Payment can be made by:

Credit card. Telephone the Image librarian on (02) 9995 5461, quote you order number and provide your credit card details

Cheque. Your cheque for the full amount of the order should be made out to the Office of Environment and Heritage, Send your cheque and a copy of the Image librarian's email to:

The Image Librarian
Office of Environment and Heritage NSW
PO Box A290
Sydney South NSW 1232

OEH employees do not pay for images used for OEH work.


Delivery of images

Following order approval (and processing of your payment if required), the Image librarian will send you an email advising you that the order is now ready for you to download. To download the images in your order:

  • log-in to the online image library
  • select 'Orders' from the top menu
  • select the relevant order number displayed on your orders page
  • use the download link to receive your images (for orders with several items, it may take a short time for the download link to appear).

Your order will remain available for downloading for 20 days after the Image librarian has approved your order.


Image formats

There are a number of formats available for images. These are shown when you click on a thumbnail to see image details.

The file formats that can be ordered 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

Not all formats are available for all images. Some of our older images may only be available in smaller formats.

Whenever you view image details you will see a list of the available formats for the image and the price for each format. You need to select the required format when ordering an image.

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

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

FAQ – 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?

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