For most types of gelatin-based imaging elements, surface abrasion and scratching results in reduction of image quality. Thus, processing the image and, later, casual handling of the image can easily mark or disfigure the image. There is, therefore, a need for an imaging element having improved scratch resistance over materials currently used. It has been unexpectedly discovered that incorporation of a ceramic nanoparticle material, along with a film-forming hydrophilic colloid, in a layer of an imaging element subject to abrasion can dramatically improve the scratch resistance of the imaging element, while maintaining optical clarity. The scratch-resistant imaging elements of the present invention can be of many different types depending on the particular use for which they are intended. Such elements include, for example, photographic, electrostatographic, photothermographic, migration, electrothermographic, dielectric recording, and thermal dye transfer imaging elements. Photographic elements include photographic films, photographic papers and photographic glass plates.