The Metropolitan Museum of Art has made more than 400,000 images of public domain works in its collection available for non-commercial use through its new Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) initiative. You may now download images from its website and use them for scholarly purposes–including print and online publication–without having to request permission or pay a fee. The Museum is letting users decide if their own projects qualify as “scholarly” or “non-commercial”; you can find definitions and examples on the Met’s OASC FAQ page. You may also want to consult the fine print in the Terms and Conditions for the Met’s website. Commercial use of these images is not permitted.
This is not the first time the Metropolitan Museum of Art has made its images available for free. You have been able to download large images for personal use since its website was redesigned a few years ago, and its collection has been the cornerstone of Artstor’s Images for Academic Publishing (IAP) since that program’s creation. OASC gives users yet another avenue for accessing and using the Met’s images.