Some museums and cultural heritage institutions are now making their collections available through an open content program, meaning that they will make available, without charge, available digital images of content that they hold the rights to or are in the public domain. No permission is required, and the user is free to do anything they would like with the images. The museums listed below offer such programs. An Andrew W. Mellon Foundation report describes in further detail this growing trend, as well as the policies for eleven museums reviewed for the report.
It is important to note that open content programs apply only to works of art considered to be in the public domain, or works that individual museums may have rights to. In some cases, only portions of a museum's collection may be available for use.
While some museums make their collections available for both educational and commercial use, others have focused specifically on educational use. The tools and museums below offer high resolution images for personal use and scholarly publishing. Some restriction, such as a limited print run, may apply. Please check the terms and conditions for each museum.