May 23, 2022

eBooks: Getty Publications Launches Virtual Library, Free Access to 250 Backlist Titles (Read Online or Download)

The virtual library is part of Getty’s Open Content Program. In August, 2013 the program made 4.600 hi-res images available.

From Getty Publications:

Getty Publications [yesterday] launched a Virtual Library, providing free online access to more than 250 of its backlist titles. The books are available to read online or download as PDFs.


The publications, the earliest of which dates from 1966, span the Getty’s rich publishing history, and include collection catalogues that highlight masterpieces from Getty collections, translations of groundbreaking texts on the visual arts, essential works of art historical research, exhibition catalogues, journals, and publications that serve as key resources in the conservation of the world’s cultural heritage. The Virtual Library includes titles published by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Research Institute.

Getty_VLTitles will be added to the Virtual Library on an ongoing basis.

The titles are fully searchable and most of them are accompanied by a description, a table of contents, and author biographies. Links are provided to help locate a print edition in a local library through WorldCat and to purchase books that are still available for sale.

More from a Getty Iris Blog Post by James Cuno, Getty CEO:

Cuno on Some of the Books in the Virtual Library

In 2004, the Getty presented the first-ever exhibition of Cézanne’s beautiful watercolor still lifes. The catalogue published with the exhibition was written by scholar Carol Armstrong and is a moving examination of this most subtle and luminous  of mediums and genres. It’s now free in the Virtual Library. So too is the definitive English translation of Otto Wagner’s modernist manifestoModern Architecture. Not to mention books on important globe-spanning conservation projects as the wall paintings of Nefertari’s tomb in Egypt, ancient sites along the silk road, and historic adobe buildings in our own earthquake-prone Southern California backyard.

Our virtual library proudly joins those already created by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the GuggenheimLACMA, and others. We hope you will explore and use them all. The books they hold are treasures meant for all, and now easier than ever for all to access and enjoy.

Direct to Getty Publications Virtual Library

See Also: Exciting! Getty Trust Launches Open Content Program With 4,600 Hi-Res Images Now Free to Use, More Images Coming Soon (August 13, 2013)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.