In recent months, several international museums have opened up their digital collections to allow downloads of high resolution images of their artworks. These are some of the best known examples:
- The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam: This museum is a pioneer of open access to digital image collections. They have made available high resolution images of their artwork through their digitised collection, and have also gone one step further, by allowing registered users to create their own sets of objects and turn them into customised products in the Rijksstudio.
- Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles : The Getty have launched their Open Content Program, which makes available over 4,600 high-resolution digital images of artworks from the Getty Museum’s collection, free to use, modify or publish. They are also planing to publish the Getty Vocabularies as Linked Open Data.
- British Museum, London: Their free image service offers high-resolution digital images from their online collection to be used for private purposes or for scholarly publication. They also make their collection data freely available by using the RDF open data standard, linking their catalogue records to many other resources related to their collections.
- National Portrait Gallery, London: This museum offers an Academic License which allows users to download high resolution digital images of artworks in their collection for academic and non-commercial use.
- The Metropolitan and the Guggenheim Museum, New York: These two museums are offering free access to 474 art books online, 375 exhibition catalogues from the Met and 99 catalogues from the Guggenheim. Together they offer an impressively comprehensive overview of art from all periods in history and all parts of the world.