The Morgan Library and Museum in New York recently announced that it is embarking on a year-long program to digitize its collection of more than 10,000 master drawings (including 2,000 versos) dating from the 14th to 21st centuries. The images will be available in a digital library that will provide a robust catalog record with a high resolution image. The digital library will be open to the public, and images will be available for download for use in non-commercial situations including “classroom presentations, dissertations, and educational websites devoted to the fine arts.”
So, get excited about the new digital library, which will hopefully be ready for launch in October 2014. The Morgan has future plans to digitize their print collection, which would be another fantastic resource.
For more information about the project, check out the Morgan’s press release. In the meantime, don’t forget that the Morgan has other valuable online resources available now, including Collection Highlights, Online Exhibitions, and Music Manuscripts.
This summer, the Europeana digital library launched its first app, Open Culture, which includes a selection of 350,000 images from its online collection of cultural objects from Europe’s institutions. The app is organizied around five curated themes, including Maps and Plans, Treasures of Art, Treasures of the Past, Treasures of Nature, and Images of the Past.
Users can perform keyword searches in the app, or browse through a visual wall of image thumbnails. You can also save favorites, add comments, and share object records on Facebook or Twitter. Perhaps best of all: the images included in the Europeana Open Culture app are either in the public domain or openly licensed, so they may be used for any publishing purpose.
For more information, stop by the VRC to explore Open Culture on our iPad, or visit the App Store.
Via Europeana Blog
In June 2013, the Council of Library and Information Resources in conjunction with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation published the report Images of Works of Art in Museum Collections: The Experience of Open Access. The report, written by Kristin Kelly, examined the policies, websites, and procedures of 11 large museums to get determine the state of open access to images.
The report has been added to our web page about Copyright Resources for Academic Publishing, which provides a list of general guides and resources as well as lists repositories that have copyright-free or copyright-lenient policies towards letting users download high quality image files of works of art. We try to keep this web page up-to-date, so if you’re aware of any collections that should be included, please don’t hesitate to let us know!
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently launched a new collections website that features a faceted search engine that facilitates both browsing and direct searching of the museum’s objects. Most importantly, however, is LACMA’s initiative to release nearly 20,000 high-quality images of art objects from their collection believed to be in the public domain. Users can freely download the images and use them as they see fit.
If you want to see all of the public domain objects for which downloading a high-quality image is possible, run a search on your research term and select “Show only unrestricted images” at the top of the page. Alternatively, if you’d like to all 20,000 objects LACMA has made freely downloadable, run a blank search and select “Show only results with unrestricted images” from the top of the page.
For even more information, we keep our list of Copyright Lenient Images for Academic Publishing up-to-date.
The Public Domain Review (a project of the Open Knowledge Foundation) is a great resource that highlights a variety of digitized public domain resources and curated collections, including images, film, text, and audio. In addition, there are scholarly articles from various humanities disciplines that engage with the digital materials included on the site.
The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project dedicated to showcasing the most interesting and unusual out-of-copyright works available online.
All works eventually fall out of copyright – from classic works of art, music and literature, to abandoned drafts, tentative plans, and overlooked fragments. In doing so they enter the public domain, a vast commons of material that everyone is free to enjoy, share and build upon without restriction.
We believe the public domain is an invaluable and indispensable good, which – like our natural environment and our physical heritage – deserves to be explicitly recognised, protected and appreciated.
The Public Domain Review aims to help its readers to explore this rich terrain – like a small exhibition gallery at the entrance of an immense network of archives and storage rooms that lie beyond.
The PDR also has a thorough guide to finding interesting public domain works online. Collaborators include the Internet Archive, Europa, the Library of Congress, the Field Museum, the Boston Public Library, the California Digital Library, the Smithsonian Institution, the Getty, and more.
For more information, visit the Public Domain Review.
The Netherlands Institute in Turkey has recently released the first installment of digital images from the vast photographic archives of Dutch historian Machiel Kiel.
A former director of the Netherlands Institute in Turkey (NIT), at which this project is now implemented, Kiel is a scholar whose career has revolved around the study of Ottoman-Islamic architectural monuments in the Balkan countries — an area of study that he pioneered. His archive represents an invaluable source for researchers of this heritage. Created for the most part between the 1960s and 90s, it contains visual documentation of many monuments that have not survived, or have been significantly altered in, the second half of the twentieth century. The publication of Kiel’s archive by the NIT is hoped to significantly advance international research on this heritage.
Images are available for publication free of charge (with attribution). For more information, see the FAQ section of this page.
Designed by Gallery experts to facilitate learning, enrichment, enjoyment, and exploration, NGA Images features more than 20,000 open access digital images, up to 3,000 pixels each, available free of charge for download and use. The resource is easily accessible through the Gallery’s website, and a standards-based reproduction guide and a help section provide advice for both novices and experts.
With the launch of NGA Images, the National Gallery of Art implements an open access policy for digital images of works of art that the Gallery believes to be in the public domain. Images of these works are now available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Gallery for authorization to use these images.
To read more about the NGA Images Open Access policy, click here. Images downloaded from the site also include basic embedded metadata with descriptive information about the artwork. Registration is not required for presentation-sized downloads, and images may be downloaded in groups to save time. Users of NGA Images may wish to sign up for accounts in order access advanced site features, including use of lightboxes (groups of images) for saving and sharing. Registration is also required for reproduction-ready downloads. See some of the most frequently requested images here.
Three new online image resources from the Index of Christian Art are now available. The first two listed below provide high resolution images for scholarly publications upon request, free of charge.
Romanesque Art Collection
The first of these is a database of some six thousand images of medieval (mainly Romanesque) art taken by a Swiss couple who wish to remain anonymous. The collection of digitized slides covers Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and The Netherlands, and includes many lesser-known sites as well as the more familiar. Most of the images are of sculpture, architecture, or wall paintings. The collection opens with frescoes from the Chapel of Saint Leonard in Naunders, Austria and closes with Amsoldingen Church in Switzerland.
The Lois Drewer Database
When she died some five months ago Lois Drewer left the Index of Christian Art a large and unsorted collection of several thousand slides covering many countries she visited throughout her lifetime. Her wide interest in art and architecture is reflected in this collection — not surprisingly called The Lois Drewer Database — which spans landscape and garden design, to archaeological sites in the Near East, to Romanesque and Gothic architecture, to a considerable focus on Renaissance architecture. Her travels brought her to Austria, Crete, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Libya, the Netherlands, Spain, Syria, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
Gabriel Millet Collection
The third resource, and certainly the most ambitious of the three, is the first installment of images from a collaborative venture the Index entered into with the Bibliothèque Gabriel Millet in the Sorbonne, Paris. This is to catalogue the entire archive of Byzantine art that was first started in 1903. As it presently stands, the database contains nearly all of the slides (approximately 15,000) in the archive and these provide an unrivalled visual record of Byzantine art, particularly manuscripts, but with wall paintings and other media included as well.
Via the International Center of Medieval Art newsletter.
NYPL has now scanned nearly all of its public domain New York City atlases… and built a web tool where users both inside and outside the Library can virtually stretch old maps onto a digital model of the world à la Google Maps or OpenStreetMap, thus creating a new copy that is not only aligned with spatial coordinates on the Earth, but normalized across the entire archive of old maps… All of this is done collaboratively, through the piecemeal efforts of staff, volunteers, and interns, a group of roughly 1,500 participants worldwide.
Read more about the project here. To participate, begin by creating an account here and then check out a YouTube tutorial here.
The Walters Art Museum announces the launch of its redesigned works of art website with the removal of copyright restrictions on more than 10,000 online artwork images through a Creative Commons license . In addition to being able to download these images for free, the site introduces a new look and feel, and enhanced searching, tagging and community collections features. The website now has additional information about the artworks, including nearly a century of history concerning exhibitions and conservation treatments. It is also substantially more accessible to users with disabilities due to its increased compliance with the United States government’s internet accessibility standards.
The Creative Commons license specifies that these images may not be used for commercial purposes. Publication in not-for-profit academic journals or dissertations is probably approved, but you may consider contacting the museum or journal for more information.
For a full list of copyright-free and -lenient images for academic publication, click here.