Tag Archives: public domain

Fine Art: Finding Images

Recently several major art museums have announced that they are making their digital collections available for download and non-commercial use.  This opening up of collections gives students and anyone interested in fine art an opportunity to work with and use these images in their own projects.  The following museums and galleries have collections that have recently announced that their images in their collections are available for download .

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Portrait of George Moore

George Moore (1852-1933) by Edouard Manet H.O. Havermeyer Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

On May 16, 2014 the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that 400,000 high resolution digital images of public domain works could be downloaded from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use.  You do not need to seek permission for use of these images nor is there an associated fee.  This initiative is called Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) and works covered by this initiative are identified by the acronym OASC. More information is available on the Met’s  Frequently Asked Questions page.

Search the Met’s Collection.

National Gallery of Art, Washington

Key West, Hauling Anchor, 1903 by Winslow Homer, National Gallery of Art.

Key West, Hauling Anchor, 1903 by Winslow Homer, National Gallery of Art.

NGA Images is a repository of digital images from the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington.  More than 37,000 open access digital images are available free of charge for download and use.  Images are available at different resolutions for use on screen or in print publications.  Search NGA Images on the National Gallery’s website.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Detail from The Little Street, Johannes Vermeer, RIjksmuseum

Detail from The Little Street, Johannes Vermeer, RIjksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam makes over 125,000 images from the collection available, free of charge.   To use them you will need to create a free Rijkstudio account to get started.

The account lets you create your own galleries and download images for your own use.  The museum encourages you to create your own masterpieces from the images that you download and has examples of objects, images and videos created from its art works.



The Getty

Unknown Horse and Rider, about 550 B.C., Terracotta Object: H: 12.7 cm (5 in.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California

Unknown. Horse and Rider, about 550 B.C., Terracotta Object: H: 12.7 cm (5 in.)
DIgital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program


The Getty makes freely available all digital images (about 90,000) to which it holds the rights or that are in the public domain.  You can browse all Open Content images or use the search on the Getty Search Gateway and download images identified with a download link.  Images used should be credited as follows:  “Digital Image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program”

Finding More Images

These are just a few examples of places where you can find fine art images to use in your projects.  Check the Finding Images to Share post for more resources for finding images.


How to Hack eBooks in the Public Domain

As part of the Mozilla Teach the Web Project I created a Popcorn project about hacking public domain ebooks.  From that I decided to try using Haiku Deck to create a more visually compelling presentation with more information about how to actually do the hacking.  This is the result.

Presentation on How to Hack eBooks in the Public Domain

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

The Popcorn project, Hacking Public Domain eBooks for Use in the Classroom, has recently been revised.  The original version is described in this blog post.

RULA LibraryBox Takes Shape

RULA LibraryBox LogoThe Ryerson University Library and Archives LibraryBox, a self-contained, wireless digital resource-sharing device, is finally taking shape.  At present it consists of a selection of public domain ebooks (including a couple available in Canada only) and a sampling of OER textbooks made available from OpenStax College and the BC Open Textbooks Project. In addition it includes some basic information about Creative Commons licenses and a short video “Hacking Public Domain eBooks for use in the Classroom“.  As the contents of the LibraryBox are only available when you are connected wirelessly to the RULA LibraryBox, here are a few screen shots to show you what it looks like:

Screenshot of Home Screen on an iPad

Screenshot of Home Screen on an iPad


Screenshot of books page on an iPhone


Screenshot of OER page on a Nexus 7


Screenshot of remix page on a Nexus 7

LibraryBox was developed by Jason Griffey who is currently looking for funding for LibraryBox 2.0 on Kickstarter

Hacking Public Domain ebooks for use in the Classroom

Video of Hacking Public Domain ebooks for use in the ClassroomThe assignment for Week 4 of Teach the Web has merged with the assignment for Week 5 as the whole project took much longer than expected.  My idea was to put together a small Popcorn project on how knowing a little HTML and CSS can let you augment public domain ebooks to provide an enhanced learning experience.  The video does not go into details on how to do this, but gives some basic ideas as to what is possible.   The next stage of this project might be to provide step-by-step instructions for finding public domain ebooks, unzipping the epub file, editing its contents and then re-zipping the files.