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.
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.
The Amsterdam Rijksmuseum has made images from its “basic collection” – a little over 103,000 objects – available under a Creative Commons BY 3.0 license which allows you to:
- Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
- Remix — to adapt the work
- Make commercial use of the work
These images may be used not only for classroom study and research but also for publishing, as long as the museum receives proper attribution. The collections database, in Dutch, is available here. Over 70,000 objects are also cataloged using ICONCLASS subject headings in English; this interface is available here. Click here for an example of the scan quality.
Are you hungry for high quality, publishable images to use in your dissertation or manuscript? Trying to avoid expensive licensing fees? Not sure what images are in the public domain?
If so, consider the following resources for copyright-free or copyright-lenient images. Most image sites include both high and low resolution images, with high quality TIFFs available upon request. Please note that each resource/institution may have specific requirements for attribution or limits on print runs. When in doubt, contact the institution before using the images in your publication.
Do you know of additional resources that we should add? Contact us!
General Resources and Guides
Museum Image Resources
Image Resources by Subject
- Index of Christian Art: Romanesque
- Index of Christian Art: Lois Drewer Database
- International Society for the Study of Pilgrimage Art: Peregrinations Photo-bank
Royalty-Free Images (One-time Fee)
The British Museum offers free online delivery of images in the collection for print non-commercial use. Register for free; requests are delivered as jpeg attachments, and are limited to 100 per month. This service is available for print use (non-commercial publication, less than 4,000 copies) only, but all images from their website are available for educational non-commercial use (including projection in the classroom).