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Open Access

Open Culture

Many museums have made their collections - and associated data - Open Access. Check out our Fine Arts research guide to see some of the largest Open Access museum collections and image repositories.

The online repositories listed below house large collections of digitized artworks and cultural heritage, often aggregated from cultural institutions around the globe. All of these platforms contain Open Access content that can be freely used by the anybody.

Graphics and design websites we've linked to provide images for reuse, sometimes with a small fee, subscription, or free.

We recommend that even if the work is in the public domain or free to use, always give credit to the creator and cite in some way. See this guide for attribution advice.

Even though attribution isn’t required, Unsplash photographers appreciate it as it provides exposure to their work and encourages them to continue sharing. 

 

Open Culture

DPLA

Digital Public Library of America

The DPLA is an online repository with over 33 million items of digitized cultural heritage from institutions across the US, including images, text, videos and audio.

 

Europeana

Europeana

Europeana partners with thousands of European archives, libraries, and museums to provide access to a wealth of cultural heritage. Over 50 million digitized items including books, artworks, music, and more.

Open Culture

Open Culture brings together high-quality cultural & educational media for the worldwide lifelong learning community.

 

 

 

Google Arts and CultureGoogle Art Project

Massive online platform providing access to high-resolution artworks from many of the world's leading art museums. Explore museums and artworks in context using Google street-view technology. The platform also has a range of research, commentary and digital experiments.

 

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

A media file repository that contains public domain and freely-licensed images, video and audio. Many cultural institutions upload digitized artworks and cultural heritage from their collections to the Commons.

 

Web Gallery of Art

Web Gallery of Art

Searchable database of European fine arts and architecture from the 3rd-19th Centuries. Contains over 45,000 digitized artworks, artist biographies, and commentary.

 

 

 

Public Domain Review

Public Domain Review

A curated selection of the best out-of-copyright materials online alongside long-form essays on their wonderful and curious histories. The public domain collections span images, video and books.

 

Digital Scriptorium

Digital Scriptorium

Collaborative project between many American libraries and museums to digitize and provide access to their collections of pre-modern manuscripts.

 

 

 

NYPL Digital Collections

NYPL Digital Collections

Contains over 750,000 items digitized from the New York Public Library collections. Features prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, and more.

 

 

 

Moving Image Archive

Moving Image Archive

Digital library providing access to nearly a quarter million films. These include feature films, documentaries, news footage, educational films, community media, commercials and more.