Below are links to resources that I am providing in hopes they might aid other researchers. I will add more resources as they become available. Please feel free to use them!


1. Face Image Meta-Database (fIMDb – CLICK HERE)

Face Image Meta-Database (fIMDb) version 2 is now out! Now with info or estimates on: number of photo sets per source (and numbers of neutral and other sets — e.g., facial emotions), number of subjects per source (with approximate sex distributions), total number of images, approximate number of viewpoints, whether the sources includes photos from more than one ethnicity, whether it includes more than one age group, whether meta-data are available, the photo category (e.g., posed, wild), the reference(s) for the source (e.g. DOIs). Toggle comments or mouse over for column headers for descriptions. These numbers are from my personal notes, which I’ve collated for the purpose of making the original database more useful. There may be mistakes or errors — please verify the numbers yourself! If you spot errors, please do let me know. You are free to leave comments in the database itself, which I will address whenever I’m able. A few estimated figures about the fIMDb: links to >2.5 mil images, 242 sets, >32k subjects (~33% F), median 2 viewpoints per set (max ~200), 73% with more than one ethnicity, 66% with more than one age group, approximately 58% with some kind of metadata.

I recently had cause to scour the web in search of face photograph stimulus sets. The linked “meta-database” is the resulting product of this search and includes information on around 88 sources for stimuli (many sources bundle together multiple stimulus sets making the total number of different sets difficult to estimate). The first section of the meta-database lists all of the databases I was able to obtain between August-October 2018, the second lists databases that require payment or must be requested by PIs or institutional representatives, the third lists databases from whom I haven’t yet received a reply, the fourth lists databases that are frequently mentioned on relevant websites but are no longer accessible (e.g., because the original link is now dead — I tried to find updated links using web searches but with no luck in these cases, but please do let me know if you know how to access them!).

If you haven’t already, please also check out Ryan Stolier‘s meta-database, which made this undertaking substantially easier – especially useful if you’re after face processing tools or want more detail about some of these databases than I have provided. Many of the other meta-databases are out-of-date, linking to stimulus sets that are no longer available or have moved elsewhere on the web. Furthermore, although these meta-databases demonstrate significant overlap, each also lists a few stimulus sets that aren’t provided by the other databases — to my knowledge, at least, there is no existing resource that has compiled all of this information into one place.

The complete list of databases summarized in my meta-database: 2. Base Dataface, 3. CNBC Wiki Image Databases, 4. CogSci Stimulus Sets, 5. Database: Faces & Sketchs, 6. Evolved Person Perception & Cognition Lab Face Stimuli, 7. Face Databases, 8. Face Databases From Other Research Groups, 9. Face Recognition Homepage Databases, 10. LISA Face Database, 11. Psychwiki Archives of Data and Stimuli, 12. Resources for Face Detection, 13. TDLC Tool Kit Resources, and 14. Wikipedia’s list of facial expression databases. Additional stimulus sets were also identified through web searches.

The following are the “best” sources for face photos in my opinion, where “best” reflects some combination of the following factors: photographs quality, availability of neutral faces, of different ethnicities, and of different ages, and availability of normative data (e.g., attractiveness): Chicago Face Database, Face Research Lab London Set, Multi-Racial Mega-Resolution Database of Facial Stimuli (MR2; limited age range), Karolinska Directed Emotional Faces (KDEF; limited age range), Oslo Face Database (limited age range), Radboud Faces Database (limited age range), Center for Vital Longevity Face Database (limited norms), Glasgow Unfamiliar Face Database (GUFD; limited norms), and the FACES Database (single ethnicity).