January 23, 2022

The Cleveland Museum of Art Advances Open Access Movement, High-Resolution Digital Images and Collections Data Now Freely Available

From the Cleveland Museum of Art:

The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) announced today it is using Open Access to make high-resolution digital images and collections data freely available by means of the internet. [Our emphasis] Open Access means the public now has the ability to share, remix, and reuse images of as many as 30,000 CMA artworks that are in the public domain for commercial as well as scholarly and noncommercial purposes. Additional information on more than 61,000 artworks —both those in the public domain and those with copyright or other restrictions—is also now available.


The CMA’s Open Access program is the most comprehensive to date, with high-resolution images in both JPG and TIF formats as well as a fully operable application programming interface (API) that can be accessed at http://openaccess-api.clevelandart.org/. Among the significant features of the CMA’s Open Access offering are rich metadata with the inclusion of authored text, exhibition history, bibliographic citations, catalogue raisonné numbers, and provenance information for each artwork. Collection data in both the CSV and JSON file formats can be accessed via a GitHub repository at https://github.com/ClevelandMuseumArt/openaccess.


The CEO of Creative Commons, Ryan Merkley, said, “Creative Commons Search Beta, the open online search and reuse tool that allows high-quality content from the Commons to surface in a seamless and accessible way, now includes as many as 30,000 CMA images under CC0 designation.



In addition to Creative Commons, Wikimedia, Internet Archive, Artstor, and Artsy have incorporated the CMA’s public domain collection into their websites, thus increasing the view of CMA images around the world and in multiple languages.


In conjunction with this new initiative, the museum is launching its newly redesigned online collection to make it easy for individuals, scholars, students, and virtual visitors to have access to a wealth of information on art. This includes up to 35 fields of metadata with descriptive text, creating more possibilities for semantic relationships, contextual interpretations, and translations related to artworks in the collection. In addition, the museum’s website will allow visitors to choose the view that is best for them, whether it’s text-heavy or image-focused.

Read the Complete Announcement


Direct to Cleveland Museum of Art Collection Database


Museum  OA Policy

Blog Post by William Griswold, Director and President, The Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland Art Museum Image and Data Services

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.