The first UK museum to make images free!

November 29 2017

Image of The first UK museum to make images free!

Picture: York Museum Trust

Most excellent news - York Museums Trust has become the first UK institution to make their images free to use. York's out of copyright images have been put into the public domain, and can be used for any purpose, for free. You can search York's collections here. The site says:

Images of works on which copyright has expired are marked Public Domain. We have no particular legal rights over these images, so they can be used for any purpose. Old artworks are a good example of public domain works.

This makes York the first major UK institution to go entirely for open access. Which is amazing and wonderful news. Now, who will follow? 

The art historian Richard Stephens, who first alerted me to York's new policy, has also unearthed more Good News; Birmingham Museums’ new strategy document states (on page 34) that they are aiming to make all images free:

We will create, manage and promote our digital assets to reach the widest possible audience, making our digital assets freely available for all through open licences. Moving from being digital publishers to becoming digital enablers, we will work in partnership with others to deliver a programme of ‘digital lab’ experiences to experiment with different ways of engaging people with the collection through digital technologies. We will invite audiences and partners to contribute to this work, and invest in the infrastructure to support this way of working. Through research partnerships and the capital projects we will provide digital access to the collection.

Britain’s regional museums are showing the nationals the way forward!

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