Paris Musées, a consortium that brings together 14 major public museums in the city of Paris (sorry, the Louvre is not one of them), launched a new website a few days ago called ‘Les Collections’ (“The Collections”), a portal with more than 100,000 high resolution digital images of works housed in one of the consortium’s museums.
But the most relevant is that all those works have been released under public domain license or equivalent, including 62,599 historical photos taken by some of the most famous photographers in French history (such as Eugène Atget) or reproductions of the works of great painters (such as Rembrandt, Gustave Courbet, Eugène Delacroix or Anthony van Dyck).
Creative Commons Zero to facilitate access to culture
As Paris Musées explained in its statement, the museums that make it up receive “a large volume of inquiries from researchers, students and educators” who wish to see or use images of the works they house.
That is why, to “support their research and training work”, the decision was made to publish the digitized material either free of rights, or under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license when the copyright is still in force but it is intended to bring it closer its use as much as possible to the public domain model:
“Make available [del público] this collection guarantees that anyone can freely access our digital files, and reuse them without technical, legal or financial restrictions, whether for commercial use or not. “
“Users can download a file containing a high definition image (300 DPI), an explanatory document on the selected work and a good practice guide for using and citing such material.”
The open access material will also be included in virtual exhibitions within the website in order to publicize its availability.
The web (in French, but partially available in English and Spanish) is equipped with an advanced search engine that allows you to filter searches based on the museum of origin, the type of material, the author, the time or even the predominant colors. If we select the filter “Image free of droit seulement”, only images free of use restrictions will appear.
Via | Hyperallergic