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Making The Met's Collection More Accessible

Thomas P. Campbell
February 7, 2017

Collage of public-domain images in The Met collection

«This morning, we announced a major update to the Museum's policy governing the use and reuse of images in our collection: all images of public-domain artworks in the Museum's collection are now available for free and unrestricted use under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). This updated policy, known as Open Access, enables everyone to utilize more than 375,000 images of public-domain artworks in The Met's collection in any media without permission or fee.»

Increasing access to the collection and scholarship is a central tenet of The Met's mission. In making images of our public-domain artworks, as well as select data about them, available with Creative Commons Zero, the Museum is adapting its practice to meet the needs of 21st-century audiences. The Metropolitan Museum of Art now becomes one of the largest and most diverse open-access museum collections in the world.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art thanks Creative Commons, an international leader in open access and copyright, for being its partner in this effort. The Museum also thanks its other partners in this initiative including Artstor, the Digital Public Library of America, Google Cultural Institute, Pinterest, and Wikimedia communities, as well as The Met's first Wikimedian-in-Residence, Richard Knipel. Partnerships with allied communities, institutions, and organizations are vital demonstrations of the Museum's openness in practice.

We are excited to share with the public new pathways to creativity, knowledge, and ideas as manifest in the greater utility of its collection spanning 5,000 years of art.

Learn more about the project in a blog post on Digital Underground by Chief Digital Officer Loic Tallon.

Thomas Campbell

Thomas P. Campbell was formerly the director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.