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Metropolitan Museum Provides Free Access to 400,000 Digital Images

May 18, 2014
Nicolas Poussin, (French, Les Andelys 1594–1665 Rome), The Abduction of the Sabine Women, probably 1633–34. Oil on canvas. Accession Number: 46.160 Click on image to enlarge.

Nicolas Poussin, (French, Les Andelys 1594–1665 Rome), The Abduction of the Sabine Women, probably 1633–34. Oil on canvas. Accession Number: 46.160
Click on image to enlarge.

According to a press release from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, a new Web program allows free download of 400,000 digital images for non-commercial use. This is in addition to the hundreds of Met exhibition catalogues that can be downloaded for free:

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today that more than 400,000 high-resolution digital images of public domain works in the Museum’s world-renowned collection may be downloaded directly from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use—including in scholarly publications in any media—without permission from the Museum and without a fee. The number of available images will increase as new digital files are added on a regular basis.

In making the announcement, Mr. Campbell said: “Through this new, open-access policy, we join a growing number of museums that provide free access to images of art in the public domain. I am delighted that digital technology can open the doors to this trove of images from our encyclopedic collection.”

The Metropolitan Museum’s initiative—called Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC)—provides access to images of art in its collection that the Museum believes to be in the public domain and free of other known restrictions; these images are now available for scholarly use in any media. Works that are covered by the new policy are identified on the Museum’s [Web site] with the acronym OASC.

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