Artstor is making an increasing number of Creative Commons-licensed museum, library, and archive image collections freely accessible to all on its platform. These collections have been selected for their value to the humanities and sciences, making Artstor a central place for researchers to discover and use open images from a wide variety of sources alongside other relevant materials.
Since 2004, Artstor has worked with museums, archives, artists, and scholars to provide high-quality, rights-cleared images for scholarship and teaching. Now, openly available works across disparate institutional sites will be discoverable with an “Open Artstor” label alongside the subscription-based core collections.
Artstor first tested this idea in 2016 when it released a substantial portion of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection on its platform under a Creative Commons Zero license. Now the content has grown to include hundreds of thousands of additional images in collections as varied as Open Artstor: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Open Artstor: The Cleveland Museum of Art, Open Artstor: Science Museum Group collection, Open Artstor: Folger Shakespeare Library, and Open Artstor: Wellcome Collection.
As Artstor releases more open materials on Artstor, it also continues to expand the licensed Artstor Digital Library collection. Since its founding, it has provided collections that are not available on the open web, such as licensing a large body of images from the Magnum Photos archive, working with artists’ rights societies like ARS and SODRAC to make images of contemporary works available, commissioningART on FILE and other photographers to document world architecture, and sharing archives created by scholars with the broader community.