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Digital Collections Online
A curated list of digital and digitized collections for creative practitioners and art researchers.
See MCN's excellent blog post "The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, E-Learning, and Online Collections" for an extensive list of digital collections in art and culture, science, and history.
Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)
Digital collections of cultural heritage materials from contributing institutions including libraries, archives, museums, and more. Photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and more are all accessible for free on the website.
50,000,000 European works of art, books, music, and more. Europeana works with thousands of European archives, libraries and museums to share cultural heritage for enjoyment, education and research.
Google Arts & Culture Collections
Google has partnered with museums and other collections around the world to showcase their collections online.
HathiTrust Digital Library
Preserves and provides lawful access to 17+ million digitized items. Founded in 2008, HathiTrust is a not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries.
Non-profit digital library that provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and millions of books.
Library of Congress Digital Collections
Expansive born-digital and digitized collections of architecture, comics, illustration, photography, prints and drawings, posters, and more.
Smithsonian Open Access
Access nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items across the Smithsonian's collections--including 19 museums, 9 research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.
Library of 60,000 free ebooks available in multiple formats. Features world literature with a focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired.
Art, Design, & Illustration
AIGA Design Archives
The AIGA Design Archives' online collections include over 7,000 digitized selections from AIGA's national juried design competitions since 1924. The archive features packaging, corporate communications, brand and identity systems, typography, editorial design and illustration, and experience design.
Artists' Books Online
Artists' Books Online is designed to promote critical engagement with artists' books and to provide access to a digital repository of metadata, scans, and commentary. Archives 200 artists' books from 1971-2008.
Atlas of Italian Renaissance woodblock prints
Research project and digital archive created by The Institute of Art History at Giorgio Cini Foundation focused on woodcuts made in Italy by the first known specimens until around 1550. The digital archive currently houses over 1200 loose prints and wood matrices from public and private collections, such as churches and convents, and is updated frequently.
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at The Ohio State University Libraries
The world’s largest collection of materials related to cartoons and comics, including original art, books, magazines, journals, comic books, archival materials, and newspaper comic strip pages and clippings. For online content, check out the Image Browse
in the Art Database or the Digital Collections
. A Multicultural Resources Guide
will help you find artists who are African American, Latino American, Asian American, or Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.
British Library of Illuminated Manuscripts
Find and view descriptions and images of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the British Library. Explore virtual exhibitions and digitized manuscripts.
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s diverse collection, spans thirty centuries of historic and contemporary design. Explore the collection by size, color, country, museum department, and more.
Digital Comic Museum
Gives access to Golden Age Comics (1938-1956) that are copyright free and within public domain.
FIT: Fashion Institute of Technology Library & The Fitting Room
FIT SPARC Digital features images from dozens of the library's special collections and archives in the form of original fashion sketches, photographs, illustrations, and historic fashion plates. These collections contain many fine examples of women's wear, menswear, children's wear, millinery, footwear, jewelry, and costume created between the 18th and 20th century. Users can browse by collection and by color. The Fitting Room (https://fittingroom.fitnyc.edu/)
is an augmented reality experience that allows you to try on accessories featured in some of FIT Library's original fashion sketches.
FIT: The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
Digitized items from FIT's specialized fashion museum span from the 18th century to the present. The collections are browsable by year as well as by themes like accessories, curator's favorites, lingerie, menswear, and more.
Getty Research Portal
Access digitized art history publications, rare books, and related literature.
Letterform Online Archive
Currently the Letterform Online Archive (which launched April 2020
) includes nearly 1,500 objects and 9,000 hi-fi images of the over 60,000 objects housed at the Archive. Find lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design, spanning thousands of years of history.
Munich DigitiZation Center
900,000+ titles from the Bavarian State Library and other institutions in Germany. Explore manuscripts, block books, incunabula (early printed books), emblem books, maps, and more.
New Museum Digital Archive
The Digital Archive narrates the history of the New Museum, through the works of the hundreds of pioneering artists who have been exhibited, and tells a larger story about the dramatic changes in art at the end of the twentieth century that have laid the ground for culture and emerging art today.
Public Art Archive
The Public Art Archive is an online and mobile database of public completed public artworks that is free to explore and contribute to.
Large web-based educational resource for avant-garde material available on the Internet. It offers visual, concrete, and sound poetry, as well as film and sound art mp3 archives.
Walker Art Center Collections
Walker’s Visual Arts Permanent Collection of almost 12,000 works by over 2,300 artists reflects a diverse range of artistic output, including painting, sculpture, films, performances, books, artist archives, and more.
Walt Reed Illustration Archive at Washington University
One facet of this illustration collection includes over 200,000 magazine tear sheets depicting works by American illustrators from the late 19th century well into the mid 20th century.
Yellow Nineties 2.0
Open-access scholarly resource for the study of eight British Fin-de-Siècle little magazines in the context of their production and reception. Searchable digital editions, critical overviews, biographies and biographical tools to facilitate the discovery of the people and networks that created the artwork and literature in these magazines.
Archive of Digital Art (ADA)
Documents the rapidly evolving field of digital installation art for over a decade and includes over 5,000 artists internationally.
Post-Digital Publishing Archive (P--DPA)
An online archive of experiences in the fields of art and design that explore the relationships between publishing and digital technology.
Rhizome champions born-digital art and culture through commissions, exhibitions, digital preservation, and software development.
Cultural documentaries, films, live broadcasts, culture magazine shows, and more. Programming available in 6 languages.
George Eastman Museum's Collections Online
More than a quarter of a million objects from the photography, technology, and George Eastman Legacy collections are now searchable, and more of the museum's vast holdings will be added on an ongoing basis.
Europeana Photography Collection
Online collection of more than two million historical images from museums and photographic collections in over 40 countries.
The Internet Archive's Moving Image Archives
Digital movies uploaded by IA users ranging from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to cartoons and concerts.
Library of Congress' Prints & Photograph Online Catalog
Photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings that are produced in or document the history of the United States and the lives, interests, and achievements of the American people.
UCLA Film & Television Archive
Watch and listen to a selection of films, television, and radio programs preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
U.S. National Archives Photographs on Flickr
A small sampling of the photographic holdings at the National Archives and Records Administration, including photographs from the Women's Bureau, the Environmental Protection Agency, and NARA's regional archival facilities across the country and from twelve Presidential Libraries.
People, Culture, and Social Movements
Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG)
An educational and research archive in Culver City, CA, that collects, preserves, documents, and exhibits over 90,000 domestic and international posters relating to historical and contemporary movements for social change. Over 4,500 posters and prints are available to view online.
Digital Library of the Middle East
The Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME) offers free and open access to the rich cultural legacy of the Middle East and North Africa by bringing together collections from a wide range of cultural heritage institutions. Materials in the collection range from 622 CE to 1924 CE.
Digital Transgender Archive (DTA)
An online hub for digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings related to transgender history from over 60 institutions around the world. The DTA defines transgender as a broad and inclusive range of non-normative gender practices, rather than an identity category, in order to bring together a trans-historical and trans-cultural collection of materials related to trans-ing gender.
Endangered Archives Programme
Facilitates the digitization of archives from communities around the world that are in danger of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration. The online collection has over seven million images and 25 thousand sound tracks. Archive types digitized so far include rare printed sources, manuscripts, visual materials, audio recordings.
Latino Cultures in the US
An online collection highlighting Latino art and culture, including works on paper, murals, film, sports, dance, music, tradition, style, the LGBTQ+ experience, and more. The digital collection highlights specific artists, influential figures, Latino traditions and food, and does geospatial deep dives into Latino neighborhoods.
National Museum of African American History & Culture
This Smithsonian museum has over 14,000 digitized artifacts from the 1850s to the 1970s on African American history. Contains Bibles, clothing, newspaper clippings, photographs, quilts, sheet music, and more.
Umbra Search African American History
A digital library that gathers digital collections and digitized materials on African American History and culture from over a thousand museums and libraries in the United States.