Welcome to the Manzanita Image Project

The Manzanita Image Project is a Web resource of images of plants, animals, fungi, landscapes & habitats, and people & culture from the California Academy of Sciences Library. Use of Manzanita Project images is easy and free for personal, educational, or non-profit use.

The project is a partnership with CalPhotos, an online image databases specializing in natural history subjects created by the University of California, Berkeley. Please be aware that our images are only part of the larger CalPhotos image system. Various organizations and individuals have contributed photographs to CalPhotos and retain the copyright for those images. If you elect to use an image that is not from the California Academy of Sciences' collection, you must follow the individual usage guidelines found with that image.

To view only the Manzanita Project images, select 'CalAcademy' from the 'Collections' field on the CalPhotos search pages.


Gerald and Buff Corsi

© California Academy of Sciences

  • Glenn and Martha Vargas © California Academy of Sciences


    Search for images of plants.
    more >>

  • Gerald and Buff Corsi © California Academy of Sciences


    Search for images of animals.
    more >>

  • Gerald and Buff Corsi © California Academy of Sciences


    Search for images of landscapes &habitats.
    more >>

  • Dr. Robert Thomas and Dorothy B. Orr © California Academy of Sciences


    Search for images of fungi.
    more >>

  • Sherry Ballard © California Academy of Sciences

    People & Culture

    Search for images of people & culture.
    more >>

Information for Personal, Educational, or Non Profit Use

Gerald and Buff Corsi © California Academy of Sciences

Web images from the Manzanita Project are available free for personal, educational, or non-profit organization use. Notification of use should be sent to manzanita@calacademy.org. Please send us a description of your use of our images and include each individual 16 digit image number. Copyright information must be placed on each image used. Our preferred credit line is 'photographer' © California Academy of Sciences.


High Resolution Tiff images are available for a fee.

Please contact manzanita@calacademy.org to discuss your needs. Our images are available up to 550 dpi and 2048 x 3072 pixels.

Information for Commercial Use of the Manzanita Project Images

Susan Middleton © California Academy of Sciences

Jpeg and High Resolution Tiff images are available for a fee for commercial use. A "Commercial" enterprise is defined as any for-profit agency including those working for non-profit clients.


Please contact manzanita@calacademy.org to discuss your needs.

Pricing information varies by format and user. Download pricing information.

Our images are available up to 550 dpi and 2048 x 3072 pixels.

Manzanita Project History

Gerald and Buff Corsi  © California Academy of Sciences

The Manzanita Project began in 1995 from a bequest given to the California Academy of Sciences Library by Frances Iden. Frances had been a dedicated volunteer and donor to the Academy Library's Special Collections. The Manzanita Project's primary goal is to increase access to the rich collection of images in the Academy's Special Collections.


In the earliest stage of the project, librarians and volunteers at the California Academy of Sciences scanned California plant and animal images and then created an internal image database.To make these images available online to the public we then partnered with the University of California, Berkeley's Digital Library project. The CalPhotos' system has over 279,300 images of plants, animals, and other natural history subjects, along with descriptive information including scientific and common names, location and dates of photos, and other information provided by the person or organization that contributed the photos. Over 32,000 images from around the world have been contributed by the Manzanita Project and our contribution increases yearly. CalPhotos has seen a dramatic increase in the average number of daily users from 3,881 in 2000 to well over 1 million users per day in 2010.

Invitation to Photographers


The Manzanita Project, since inception, has been funded mostly through private donations. If you are interested in contributing to the project with a monetary or time donation, please contact manzanita@calacademy.org.


In the interest of creating an accurate database, we welcome annotations. Corrections, confirmations, or additional information should be submitted directly to CalPhotos' Annotations and Corrections.

If you would like to further discuss any changes please contact us at manzanita@calacademy.org.

Contact the Department

  • Academy Library
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • 55 Music Concourse Drive
  • San Francisco, CA 94118
  • 415-379-5484 (direct)


  • Who can use the Academy Library?

    The Library is open to all staff, students, and volunteers of the Academy during regular business hours (Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm).

    Members of the public with a legitimate research interest are welcome to use the collections by appointment.

  • Can I check out books from the Academy Library?

    Items from the Academy Library only circulate to Academy Staff for in-house use. Members of the public may view items in the Naturalist Center


  • How do I contact a Librarian?

    Librarians are generally available during regular business hours (Monday-Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm).

    We can help you with questions, provide referrals, or schedule an appointment for you to visit the Library.

    You can contact the Library by

    Phone: (415) 379-5484

    Email: library@calacademy.org



  • How do I look up a book?

    All of the Academy Library and Naturalist Center book, journal, and multimedia holdings are listed in the Academy Library catalog.

    Confused? Watch a tutorial on searching the Academy Library catalog.

    There are many ways to find items in the Academy Library catalog.

    Watch a short tutorial

  • How do I find journal articles?

    The Academy Library offers access to a variety of databases and indexes, both free and subscription services.  You must be on-site at the Academy to use the subscription databases.

    Browse our Indexes & Databases

  • I know what I want, now how do I get it?

    First, look it up in the Catalog.

    If we don't own it, try the following:

    Academy Staff ONLY: Place an Interlibrary Loan request.

    If you do not have Academy Library borrowing privileges, try searching WorldCat.org to see if a library near you owns the item.

  • How do I search for archival collections in the catalog?

    As a rule, those collections are not listed in the Library catalog.  You can browse the list of manuscript holdings here and you can search Archives image collections in the Manzanita Image Gallery.


    Please contact archives [at] calacademy [dot] org with any questions.

  • Can I reuse or publish your photographs or other materials?

    In most cases, the answer is yes.  Please see Scanning, Reproduction & Use for more information.

  • Can I volunteer at the Library?

    We periodically have volunteer opportunities for both short-term, project based and long-term assignments. 

    Please contact Volunteer Services if you are interested in becoming a Library volunteer.