On May 16, the Metropolitan Museum announced a new initiative called the Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) and released more than 400,000 images of public domain works on their website. Users can download the high-resolution files directly from the website for any non-commercial use, including scholarly publications. Users do not need to pay a fee and will not need to seek permission from the museum. Per the Met’s press release, “the number of available images will increase as new digital files are added on a regular basis.”
The Met joins several other institutions in making high-resolution digital image files of collection objects free available on the web, including Rijksmuseum, LACMA, and the Getty. The Met was one of the first participants in ARTstor’s Images for Academic Publishing initiative, but in order to use those images, the user needed to be affiliated with an institution that had an ARTstor subscription or request a temporary password. The new OASC program makes the images available directly to the public from the museum’s collections website.
For more information, visit the Met’s FAQ about the OASC initiative or explore their collections website. Images included in the initiative will be indicated
Via the Metropolitan Museum Press Room.
From the Wellcome Library:
We are delighted to announce that over 100,000 high resolution images including manuscripts, paintings, etchings, early photography and advertisements are now freely available through Wellcome Images.
Drawn from our vast historical holdings, the images are being released under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.
This means that they can be used for commercial or personal purposes, with an acknowledgement of the original source (Wellcome Library, London). All of the images from our historical collections can be used free of charge.
The images can be downloaded in high-resolution directly from the Wellcome Images website for users to freely copy, distribute, edit, manipulate, and build upon as you wish, for personal or commercial use. The images range from ancient medical manuscripts to etchings by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Francisco Goya.
The earliest item is an Egyptian prescription on papyrus, and treasures include exquisite medieval illuminated manuscripts and anatomical drawings, from delicate 16th century fugitive sheets, whose hinged paper flaps reveal hidden viscera to Paolo Mascagni’s vibrantly coloured etching of an ‘exploded’ torso.
Other treasures include a beautiful Persian horoscope for the 15th-century prince Iskandar, sharply sketched satires by Rowlandson, Gillray and Cruikshank, as well as photography from Eadweard Muybridge’s studies of motion. John Thomson’s remarkable nineteenth century portraits from his travels in China can be downloaded, as well a newly added series of photographs of hysteric and epileptic patients at the famous Salpêtrière Hospital.
Above Image: Wellcome Library, London. Horoscope of Prince Iskandar, grandson of Tamerlane, the Turkman Mongol conqueror.
In the early 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency hired more than 70 freelance photographers to take pictures of life in the United States as it intersected with the environment for the Project DOCUMERICA (1971–77). The National Archives has digitized more than 15,000 images from the project, and they are available online via NARA’s online catalog or though a Flickr collection that is much easier to browse.
You can browse by image topic, location, or photographer—and that’s where things start to get really interesting. Photographers hired for the project include Danny Lyon (AB ’63) and photojournalist John H. White (born 1945) who worked for the Chicago Defender and was recently laid off from the Chicago Sun Times along with the rest of their staff photographers.
Because the project was funded by the federal government, there are no copyright restrictions on the images, and users can download 300 dpi original size files from the Flickr collection. For more information and to explore the collection, visit Flickr and the National Archives.
Via Peta Pixel
Image: Danny Lyon. Albuquerque Speedway Park, One of Three Stock Car Race Tracks in Albuquerque, May 1972. 412-DA-2825. Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001.
The Center for the Art of East Asia has recently announced the launch of a new and improved website for the digital handscroll paintings project:
One of the major types of traditional East Asian painting, the handscroll, or horizontal scroll, is meant to be appreciated by unrolling and viewing it section-by-section as a continuous composition. Unfortunately, the temporal and participatory aspects of viewing handscrolls cannot be readily experienced today, as the original paintings are far too valuable and fragile to be handled frequently. When shown in museums, they are always placed in glass cases and are seldom displayed in their entirety. For students and specialists seeking to view them, it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain access to these important cultural materials. Beyond the rare opportunities to experience them in person, they are primarily known through static, fragmentary images in slides and as photographs in books. Fortunately, the digital medium has offered the potential for much greater exposure to these works of art, simulating the interactive viewing experience for which they were originally designed. The Center for the Art of East Asia (CAEA)at the University of Chicago has teamed with the Visual Resources Center (VRC) and Humanities Research Computing to develop this innovative digital presentation. Initially used as a course website, we are also developing it as a resource for teaching and research at other universities and for museum archiving and exhibition. The digital scrolling paintings website is a multi-functional tool that allows users to move through the scrolls and view elements of the painting in high resolution, with colophons, signatures, and seals of artists and collectors, and also to examine their media, materiality, and techniques of production. This is a means to fuller understanding of a work both in its details and as a composite of its many elements.
Digital technology presents these paintings as continuous scrolling images and offers various kinds of user interfaces such as auto-scrolling, zooming, and comparison. The newly designed website has more paintings accessible for public viewing and enhanced functions for searching, text annotations, and links to related material. We are continuing to add paintings to the public website and partnering with other institutions with a goal to create a more extensive public database of these invaluable works of art. We will include more rare works, Japanese painting, and calligraphy. The project has negotiated agreements to show paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Nelson-Atkins Museum, Palace Museum, Beijing, St. Louis Art Museum, and the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago.
To learn more, visit the Digital Scrolling Paintings Project.
The Google Cultural Institute and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem collaborated to bring five complete Dead Sea Scrolls online. The new digital library (released Tuesday, December 18), allows users to study and discover the the most ancient biblical manuscripts on earth:
The website gives searchable, fast-loading, high-resolution images of the scrolls, as well as short explanatory videos and background information on the texts and their history. The scroll text is also discoverable via web search. If you search for a phrase from the scrolls, a link to that text within the scroll may surface in your search results. For example, try searching on Google for [And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb Dead Sea Scroll].
English translations of the manuscripts are also available. The Google Cultural Institute is also responsible for the Art Project as well as other digital humanities projects, including Versailles 3D and La France en relief. For the Dead Sea Scrolls project, they used imaging technology originally developed for NASA. The scrolls weren’t discovered until 1947, and they had been in the Qumran caves for two thousand years. ArtDaily reports:
The parchment and papyrus scrolls contain Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic script, and include several of the earliest-known texts from the Bible, including the oldest surviving copy of the Ten Commandments. The oldest of the documents dates to the third century BC and the most recent to about 70 AD, when Roman troops destroyed the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The artefacts are housed at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where the larger pieces are shown at the dimly lit Shrine of the Book on a rotational basis in order to minimise damage from exposure. When not on show, they are kept in a dark, climate-controlled storeroom in conditions similar to those in the Qumran caves, where the humidity, temperature and darkness preserved the scrolls for two millennia.
For more information, visit the Digital Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Book of Kells was released as an iPad app last Friday, November 16. The app contains all 680 surviving pages of the manuscript as well as other special features and content. It is intended to replace previous electronic reproductions of the manuscript which had been released on DVD-ROM and CD-ROM.
The app features the entire manuscript in high resolution, with 21 pages viewable at up to 6 times their actual size and categories of decorative themes that users can browse through including letters, animals, and other symbols.
You can also stop by the VRC anytime to check out the “eBook of Kells” app! Best of all, the app can be projected from the iPad for use in classrooms and presentations.
For more information, view the Book of Kells website or the iTunes app store.
[Images: The Book of Kells, folio 7v and 8r, and an image group of initial letters for the letter “A”.]
Today, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdamn is launching RijksStudio, a digital collection of 125,000 works in the collection. We posted about the first installment about a year ago, and now they’ve fully unveiled their impressive new image platform.
All works in the RijksStudio are available for users to download for personal use as a high-quality jpeg image file. (Using images for professional and commercial uses is possible, but requires filling out a form to obtain permission from the museum). Depending on the type of use, print, and format, images can be downloaded either free or charge or for a fee.
In addition to browsing and searching the collection, you can create image groups or explore the image groups of other users. In depth content such as context about art movements, artists’ biographies, and other historical events is available when browsing through facets or when viewing an individual work. Images can be shared on various public media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Pintrest. You can also easily order reproductions of the images.
The image records for objects in the collection contain an absolute wealth of information, including basic object data, exhibition histories, provenance, related artworks, copyright status, and a section called “Documentation,” which serves as a bibliography of the object with links to published references of the work including scholarly articles, monographs, and exhibition catalogs. When online content is available, the object data includes links—for example, links to JSTOR articles.
You can create an account using your email address or log in through your Facebook account. For more information or to start exploring, click here.
Yesterday Google Art Project launched an impressive expansion which now includes 30,000 high-resolution images from more than 150 museums worldwide. Last year the project included just 1,000 images, mostly of Western paintings. Today’s Google Art Project includes greater cultural diversity as well as photographs, street art, and more. The project is freely available to the public online.
Using a combination of various Google technologies and expert information provided by our museum partners, we have created a unique online art experience. Users can explore a wide range of artworks at brushstroke level detail, take a virtual tour of a museum and even build their own collections to share.
Additional images from the Art Institute of Chicago are now available in Google’s online galleries. The upgrade was announced at the Art Institute yesterday, with Google president Margo Georgiadis welcomed by mayor Rahm Emanuel. Read more about the project here.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art launched a new website this week, complete with high-resolution images available for download (for educational purposes).To download a high-res image, either search or browse the collections. Select an individual work, then click full view. Click the symbol at lower right to “Download HD Image.” This will bring you to a new screen where you can either right-click (PC) or control-click (Mac) to save.
If you’re on a PC, you can also zoom to a detail in the full view and right-click to save it. If you have a MyMet account, images may be grouped in your account for later reference.
With the help of a Preservation and Access Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and with additional funding from an anonymous donor, the Walters has completed its program to create digital surrogates of its collection of Islamic manuscripts and single leaves. Images are free for any noncommercial use, provided you follow the terms of the Creative Commons license specified by the museum.
Images of the manuscript are available for download from Flickr, including high-resolution images. Full manuscript PDFs (including data) are also available on the Walters website (see the above example here).