The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Getty Museum of Images and Vatican Library are three examples of prestigious institutions taking bold strides into the digitization of their various treasured inventories. The Met has recently made available via their website more than 400,000 works of art from their collection, ready for download. Works by Monet and Van Gogh, and hundreds of paintings, drawings, and sketches by Picasso are free for educational, noncommercial, and recreational use through its Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) portal (though you don’t need to be either an educator or full-time student to use it). The Vatican Library, in partnership with Japanese tech company NTT Data, has begun in March to digitize and catalog its millions of pages of historically significant manuscripts, some dating back to the 1300s, uploading them onto its site to be viewed by the public—a substantial, sensitive project to be carefully monitored and developed or the next few years. This serves a two-pronged solution for both Vatican librarians and intellectually curious citizens: the dissemination of education while still protecting valuable ancient texts. The Getty Research Institute and J. Paul Getty Museum have posted nearly 87,000 works of art and medieval manuscripts through their Open Content Program (including sixteenth-century prints) and plan to add many more in the near future. You can even print select works as magnificent posters!
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