New York Public Library's copyright free image archive opens
After long years of digitalisation process, New York Public Library finally opened its vast online collection of 180.000 archive images, which includes everything image-based from photographs through maps to illustrations and menu cards. While this development is worth mentioning only as it is, the most striking about the release of the database is that its features are completely and 100% restriction-free. Thus, NYPL managed to compile the most democratic visual collection ever, that is accessible globally without any subscriptions, and is entirely free from copyrights, meaning that the contents are available for further use. The high-resolution images are not only entertaining to flick through, but since originating from the decades between the 11th and the 21st centuries, it is also an immense source for further sociological and historical enquiries.
Surely, the archive will be used mostly for academic research and educational purposes, but it also presents a never-before seen treasure chest for people engaged in the creative business. Upon recognising the artistic potential, NYPL is currently running an open call for the so-called Remix Residency, which aims at realising projects that transform the archive’s contents into an engaging, creative schemes, inviting artists, writers, journalist, software developers, and educators. Though the call is open only for those who are residing in the UK, the library will surely inspire a lot of creative minds across the globe, who have the chance to re-energise and re-contextualise our common intellectual, visual heritage.
Source: Creative Review
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