From the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
This morning, we announced a major update to the Museum’s policy governing the use and reuse of images in our collection: all images of public-domain artworks in the Museum’s collection are now available for free and unrestricted use under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). This updated policy, known as Open Access, enables everyone to utilize more than 375,000 images of public-domain artworks in The Met’s collection in any media without permission or fee.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art thanks Creative Commons, an international leader in open access and copyright, for being its partner in this effort. The Museum also thanks its other partners in this initiative including Artstor, the Digital Public Library of America, Google Cultural Institute, Pinterest, and Wikimedia communities, as well as The Met’s first Wikimedian-in-Residence, Richard Knipel. Partnerships with allied communities, institutions, and organizations are vital demonstrations of the Museum’s openness in practice.
The images we’re making available under a CC0 license relate to 200,000 public domain artworks in our collection that the Museum has already digitally catalogued. This represents an incredible body of work by curators, conservators, photographers, librarians, cataloguers, interns, and technologists over the past 147 years of the institution’s history. This is work that is always ongoing: just last year we added 21,000 new images to the online collection, 18,000 of which relate to works in the public domain.
To help find these images on our website, we’ve added a feature that allows users to filter searches to only those works that we believe are public domain; all of these Open Access images are marked with the CC0 logo on their respective object page.
Alongside the images, we’re also making available under CC0 each artwork’s key information, otherwise known as tombstone data—title, maker, date, culture, medium, and dimensions—on all 440,000 artworks that the Museum has digitized to date; this data is now available as a downloadable file on GitHub. By making this information available in a clear, machine-readable format, we are making it easier for the world to search for, play with, and explore the breadth and depth of the Museum’s collection. (We don’t yet have an API, but we’re working on it!)
Direct to Search the Met Digital Collection
[Ed. Note: To be clear, available now, aprox. 375,000 CCO digital objects from 200,000 artworks. The Met collection includes a total of around 1.5 million objects.]
More About Today’s News:
This policy change is an update to The Museum’s 2014 Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) initiative. The Met’s Open Access policy facilitates the use of more than 375,000 images of public-domain artworks for both scholarly and commercial purposes. The Museum is collaborating with global partners to enable greater access to the collection.
In making the announcement, Mr. [Thomas] Campbell [Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, ] said: “We have been working toward the goal of sharing our images with the public for a number of years. Our comprehensive and diverse museum collection spans 5,000 years of world culture and our core mission is to be open and accessible for all who wish to study and enjoy the works of art in our care. Increasing access to the Museum’s collection and scholarship serves the interests and needs of our 21st-century audiences by offering new resources for creativity, knowledge, and ideas. We thank Creative Commons, an international leader in open access and copyright, for being a partner in this effort.”
[Clip]The rollout of this change in policy is an ongoing process, as the Museum continues to collaborate with new and existing partners to develop our content-distribution efforts and explore new opportunities.While all images of works the Museum believes to be in the public domain are included in this initiative, certain works are not available for one or more of the following reasons: the work is still under copyright, or the copyright status is unclear; privacy or publicity issues; the work is owned by a person or an institution other than The Met; restrictions by the artist, donor, or lender; or lack of a digital image of suitable quality.The Museum continues to work with Art Resource for licensing images of works under copyright or other restrictions, or for images not available on The Met’s website.
Direct to Search the Met Digital Collection