Two major art institutions have made a lot of digital content a lot more available in the last few months. Last month, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has opened up use of the images of public domain art in its digital catalogue for scholarly use (including publication in scholarly books) under an “Open Access for Scholarly Content” (OASC) program. The museum has also put a batch of 396 backlist publications online, for free, through the MetPublications section of its website. That includes a number of titles on medieval art, ranging from Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages to The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Meanwhile, over at the J. Paul Getty Trust, their Open Content Program has expanded to over 87,000 images of public domain art, all available without any usage restrictions. The most recent additions, released in April, include 5,000 images from their tapestry reference collection. Earlier this year, the Getty also opened up a Virtual Library with more than 250 titles freely available for download. Again, there’s a variety of medieval titles, particularly covering the Getty’s many illustrated manuscripts.
Between the two museums, it’s a pretty impressive haul of medieval art history resources.