Archive History

The International Mission Board has a rich history of global missions sending spanning nearly 175 years. For much of that time–as long as photography has been a thing, we’ve worked diligently to preserve that history visually through the lenses of incredibly talented photographers who have labored to communicate back to our SBC family the work God is doing around the world. This archive of missions imagery is an invaluable treasure that tells the story of our SBC missions engagement in a way that words do not. We want make this treasure available to all who might find it useful for telling those stories, whether it be churches or others in the world of missions.

Tell Your Story

Our photo library is the means to the end of serving churches and others as they engage in cross-cultural missions. Part of mobilizing limitless missionary teams to people and places with no gospel access is telling great stories in tangible, inspiring ways. These images will assist in doing that. Thus, we’ve organized our visual archives within a fully searchable database. Images are arranged into collections according to location, subject matter, general topics, and any number of other criteria, and all of the collections are searchable.

At No Expense To You

All photos here are available for download at no charge for non-commercial use (see the legal fine print here). Simply search the site for available photos through keywords or collections, choose the best option(s) for your particular need, download, and put it to use. It’s that simple.

We also have very, very limited capacity for custom image requests. This digital library is meant to serve the needs of our partners and friends moving ahead. In the past, great care has been taken to provide images for the needs of churches and other partners, including filling custom requests, and we want to continue to do so. However, as we approach the 175th anniversary of the International Mission Board, we will be working on special projects and providing far greater access to our photo archives to as many people as possible, which will limit our capacity to fill custom requests.

Therefore, much like a museum might close a particular archive or wing for renovations, the IMB image archive will be closed for a time as we work to build the availability of both our historical and contemporary images in a digital format moving forward. If, however, you do have a specific need that you cannot fill through the existing photo library, send a request through the following form, and we will see if we can fill the need for you. The library will be ever-expanding to include new and old images, so check back regularly to see what we might have added that may serve you as you tell the stories of God’s mission in the world.

Request Photo