May 20, 2022

The British Museum Releases New Version of Online Collection Database with About 4.5 Million Objects Available to View, 1.9 Million Images with CC 4.0 License

From Broadway World:

The British Museum today launches a major revamp of its online collection database, allowing over 4 million objects to be seen by people anywhere in the world. This new version of the online database – officially called the British Museum Collection Online – has been unveiled earlier than planned so that people who are currently under lockdown measures due to Covid-19 can enjoy the treasures from one of the world’s great collections from the comfort of their own home.


There are nearly 4.5 million objects available to be enjoyed, with 1.9 million images. Today’s launch also sees 280,000 new object photographs and 85,000 new object records published for the very first time, many of them acquisitions the Museum has made in recent years, including 73 portraits by Damian Hirst, a previously lost watercolour by Rossetti, and a stunning 3,000-year-old Bronze age pendant.

The majority of the 1.9 million object images are available for anyone to use for free under a Creative Commons 4.0 license. Users no longer need to register to use these photographs, and can now download them directly to their devices, making it easier and quicker to access them for non-commercial activities such as sharing on social media.


A major new addition is the ability to see object images up close, using zoom technology from the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF).

Read the Complete Article

Start Searching, Direct to Collections Search 

Learn More About Improvements Made to Collection Online

Direct to Collections Online Search Help

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.