May 23, 2022

Collection Expansion: Yale Museums Making Thousands of Artwork Images Available for Free Downloading

From The Hartford Courant:

Want Van Gogh’s “The Night Cafe,” owned by Yale University Art Gallery, as your desktop wallpaper? Download a high-res TIFF at Want to post on your blog that J.M.W. Turner you saw at Yale Center for British Art? Download a TIFF at

On those websites, anyone is welcome to download public-domain artworks free of charge and use them any way they want, even if that usage is for-profit, such as the publication of a book.

The New Haven art spaces, as well as the campus’ Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, are at the forefront of a growing museum trend to digitize public-domain artworks in their collections and make them available for free downloading online.


The museums began digitizing and uploading artworks in 2011. Last month, YCBA added 22,000 more images to its online archive, bringing the total number of images to 69,000. YUAG, whose 150,000-piece collection includes about 76,000 public-domain items, has posted 94,000 images.

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Previous infoDOCKET Coverage: Open Access! “Digital Images of Yale’s Vast Cultural Collections Now Available for Free” (May 10, 2011)

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.