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Metropolitan Museum of Art Adds 375,000 Public Domain Images to Creative Commons Website

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has added 375,000 images of works from its collections to the Creative Commons website as part of an initiative called Open Access. Anyone may take advantage of these images, without copyright restrictions.

Organizations helping the Met with the initiative are Pinterest, the picture-sharing social-media platform, and Artstor, the art and object database used frequently by researchers and academics. The museum is also planning “edit-a-thons” and a number of other activities to make sure the information for all the images is correct and up to date.

Though the Met’s gesture is large, it is not the first institution to make images from its collection available online for free. The J. Paul Getty Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, LACMA, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, among other places, have started similar programs. “This new open-access initiative demonstrates our desire to adapt our practices,” said Thomas P. Campbell, the Met’s director. “[The Met] now becomes the largest and most diverse open-access museum collection in the world.”