This month, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art made 375,000 public domain images available for free use under a Creative Commons Zero license. The development comes as part of the Met’s Open Access initiative, in partnership with Wikimedia Commons, and means that users can access photos of a portion of the Met’s inventory for web viewing and for use with no copyright restriction.
Richard Knipel, president of Wikimedia’s NYC chapter, wrote a blog post detailing the museum’s ongoing open access project, and Thomas P. Campbell, director and CEO of the museum, said in a recent statement that, “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.”
The museum has partnered with Creative Commons, Wikimedia, Artstor, Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Art Resource, and Pinterest to publicize the initiative. The collection can be viewed on the Met’s site here, on Wikimedia, or via Creative Commons. (Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4)