This page features items from the Library's digital collections that are free to use and reuse. The Library believes that this content is either in the public domain, has no known copyright, or has been cleared by the copyright owner for public use. Each set of content is based on a theme and is first featured on the Library's home page.
These sets are just a small sample of the Library's digital collections that are free to use and reuse. The digital collections comprise millions of items including books, newspapers, manuscripts, prints and photos, maps, musical scores, films, sound recordings and more. Whenever possible, each collection has its own rights statement which should be consulted for guidance on use. Learn more about copyright and the Library's collections.
Last month, the Metropolitan Museum of Art made over 400,000 images available for free download for non-commercial use as a part of its Open Access for Scholarly Content initiative. These beautiful images include the treasures owned and displayed by the Met such as famous paintings, armor, statues, art objects, and more. All images can be found on this website and are identified with the acronym OASC.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration makes thousands of stunning high resolution images available for download for free. The photo library is organized into collections such as the National Weather Service Collection containing over 4,000 weather-related images, the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) Collection, the Fisheries Collection, and many more, see the full list of collections here. The photos can be viewed by browsing the galleries or the catalogs for each collection. It's better to view the catalogs in all cases since not all images are included in the galleries. Most NOAA photos and slides are in the public domain and CANNOT be copyrighted while a few photos are known to have copyright restrictions are so noted. Credit MUST be given to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce.
The Rijksmuseum is one of many museums who have been progressively digitizing their extensive collections over the last two decades. This process has taken on new importance in the age of coronavirus. Museums are searching for new ways to make art accessible and to continue to provide the cultural services which are their mission. To this end, thousands of the images in the Rijks Studio collection can be downloaded in high resolution. They are perfect screensavers; but if you are looking for even more creative uses, the museum has some suggestions. Simply register with a free account to save your favorite images, order prints, or even zoom in on your favorite details to display. Whether it is a Van Gogh phone case or a screen-printed tote, the museum hopes its online visitors will take the chance to integrate this legendary, public-domain artwork into their daily lives.
Many heritage institutions would like their collections to be open and reusable but fail to achieve that situation because of organizational, legal and technological barriers. A set of guidelines and best practices is proposed to facilitate the process of making heritage collections reusable. These guidelines are based on the FAIR Principles for scholarly output (FAIR data principles ), taking into account a number of other recent initiatives for making data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. The resulting FAIR Principles for Heritage Library, Archive and Museum Collections focus on three levels: objects, metadata and metadata records. Clarifications and examples of these proposed principles are presented, as well as recommendations for the assessment of current situations and implementations of the principles.
More and more people and organizations want to be able to access and reuse both digital objects and the (meta)data describing the physical and digital objects, not only individually but also in bulk. Some LAM institutions already comply with these wishes. Examples are: the British Library Free Data Services (British Library Free Data Services ), the Ghent University Library Open Data services (Universiteitsbibliotheek Gent Open Data [updated 2018]) and the Rijksmuseum API (Rijksmuseum API ). In other cases, there may be technical or legal barriers or data services lack clear documentation making discovery and access ambiguous. Not all collections apply or provide the universal metadata standards and protocols that are necessary for exchanging or reusing information in a simple way. Furthermore, some collections lack essential metadata (like global persistent identifiers), making implementation of universal standards and protocols impossible. And reuse can be complicated, as data or data services may lack information related to data reuse or license restrictions. Not only are these circumstances an obstacle for reuse of collection objects and metadata by external parties, but also for internal and external interoperability between various information systems used within LAM institutions. To summarize: it is not enough to make collections available through web based end user interfaces and provide download options for individual objects and metadata records. On the contrary: collection data and objects must be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable for people and software in their entirety and in specific parts.
In digital contexts it can also be applied to digital objects, digital representations of objects, data and metadata. In this case provenance can be recorded for physical objects, digital objects and data in the context of all kinds of collections and archives.
Museums for Digital Learning (MDL) brings museum collections directly to your classroom. This free resource brings the best of museum learning from around the country to your students with inquiry-based, interactive activities for grades K-12. Introduce learners to a variety of science and social studies content from the Field Museum and cooperating institutions.
Rijksstudio brings the collection of the Rijksmuseum to the public. More than 330,000 works of art are at your fingertips, so that viewers can zoom in on them, touch and like them, or use them to compile their own collections. Collect your personal favorites in your own Rijksstudio, share them with friends, or download them free of charge to create your own masterpiece. The images in Rijksstudio are copyright and royalty free: you can use them as you like, for private or commercial purposes. 153554b96e