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Open Access Resources

A guide to free and public online resources covering a wide range of topics.


AATA Online (Abstracts of International Conservation Literature)

  • Literature on preservation and conservation of material cultural heritage.


  • Over 7,000 U.S. and Canadian advertisements covering five product categories - Beauty and Hygiene, Radio, Television, Transportation, and World War II propaganda - dated between 1911 and 1955.

American Memory

  • An aggregation of more than 9 million transcriptions, audio files, and still and moving images from the Library of Congress and other institutions, all documenting the American experience.


  • Arcade unites the collections of the Frick Art Reference Library and the libraries of the Brooklyn Museum and The Museum of Modern Art.


  • The leading web archiving service for collecting and accessing cultural heritage on the web.

Archives Portal Europe

  • Provides access to information on archival material from different European countries as well as information on archival institutions throughout the continent.


  • Resource focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues related to the Muslim world.

Art Discovery Group Catalogue

  • Provides an international, art-focused research experience within the WorldCat environment.

Art World in Britain, 1660-1735

  • Primary sources and research tools for the study of the arts in late 17th and early 18th century Britain


  • Open access database collecting scholarly, non peer-reviewed e-prints in in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics. Hosted by Cornell University.

Auction Catalogs

  • This Met collection, hosted by the Internet Archive, contains an ever-growing number digitized sales catalogs from the Met Libraries' collections. The catalogs date from the seventeenth through the mid-twentieth centuries, and are primarily from American and European auction houses.


Beazley Archive

  • Classical Art Research Centre's antiquities database allows you to search art, pottery, gems, sculpture and architectural terracottas. It also has over 10,000 images of Greek/Roman sculpture and 200,000 images of Greek pottery.

BHA (Bibliography of the History of Art)

  • Indexes and abstracts books, articles, dissertations, conference proceedings, and catalogs published on American and European art of all eras.

Biodiversity Heritage Library

  • The world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives


  • An online reference center dedicated to providing information on African American and African Diasporic history.

Blue Mountain Project

  • This collection contains fully searchable issues of important periodicals of the European avant-garde.

British Library

  • Makes available 30,000 digital images representing key objects from its holdings.

British Library Archival Sound Recordings

  • Collection of unique sound recordings, from all over the world, covering the entire range of recorded sound: music, drama and literature, oral history, wildlife and environmental sounds.

British Museum

  • Of the British Museum’s more than 7 million objects, 2 million have been catalogued, and of those nearly 500,000 objects have at least one digital image available online.

Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Shelby White & Leon Levy Digital Archives

  • Provides access to digitized resources from the Brooklyn Academy of Music Hamm Archives



  • An online image resource made available by the University of California system. It offers more than 200,000 digital representations of primary materials documenting the history of the state of California, from its origins through the 1970s.


  • Searchable encyclopedia containing chemical, physical, visual, and analytical information on historic and contemporary materials used in the conservation, preservation, and production of artistic, architectural, and archaeological materials.


  • An interactive image database focused on the history of gardens and landscapes from ancient Roman archaeological sites to 19th century Hudson Valley estates.

Cleveland Museum of Art

  • Makes available more than 23,000 digital images representing objects from its collection.

Cloister Archives Collection

  • This collection contains digitized material from selected archival collections held by The Cloisters Library and Archives, including photo albums, scholar and dealer records, and finding aids and container lists.


  • Digital platform containing the digitized collections of private art collectors.

Congressional Research Service Reports

  • Research products produced by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) for the United States Congress. 

CoPA (Commercial Pattern Archive)

  • A catalog of patterns and collections that researchers and designers can use to re-create or date clothing from 1868 to 2000. Contact the library staff for the log-in information.


  • A trusted, nonprofit network where humanities scholars can create a professional profile, discuss common interests, develop new publications, and share their work.

Costume Institute Collections

  • This collection contains ephemeral and archival collections from the Institute and its Irene Lewisohn Costume Institute Library, with subsets highlighting fashion plates, sketches, and exhibition binders.


Dance Collection Catalog, NYPL

  • Covers all aspects and forms of dance, as well as related subjects. Specify collection: Dance Research Collection.

DART-Europe E-theses Portal

  • A research portal for discovery of electronic theses and dissertations from 14 European countries and over 120 institutions.

Database Machine Drawings

  • Makes available more than 1,600 high-quality digital images of Medieval and Renaissance (1235–1650) mechanical drawings.

David Rumsey Map Collections

  • Offers users access to more than 21,000 ultra high quality digital images of rare maps and other cartographic material, focused on the 18thand 19th centuries and spanning world geography.

Dictionary of Art Historians

  • A free biographical dictionary of historians of western art written and maintained by art history scholars.

Digital Commons Network

  • Free, full-text scholarly articles from hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide. Curated by university librarians and their supporting institutions, the Network includes a growing collection of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, working papers, conference proceedings, and other original scholarly work.

Digital Culture Books

  • Innovative work in new media studies and digital humanities. Maintains a database of lo

Digital Media Law Project

  • Maintains a searchable "Legal Guide" focusing on online publishing, digital journalism as well as a "Legal Threats Database" containing lawsuits, cease & desist letters, subpoenas, and other legal threats directed at those who engage in online speech.

Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

  • Collects and creates electronic resources for study and research of the decorative arts, with a particular focus on Early America. Included are electronic texts and journals, image databases, and information on organizations, museums and research facilities.

Digital Library of the Caribbean

  • A cooperative digital library for resources from and about the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean.

Digital Public Library of America

  • Brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science.

Documents of Latin American and Latino Art

  • A project of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Contains over 8000 primary source materials and critical texts related to 20th and 21st century Latin American and Latinx art.

Drexel University Theses, Dissertations, and Projects

  • Full-text access to Drexel doctoral dissertations since 2006, as well as selected older works and master's theses.

Duke Digital Collections

  • All of the digital media collections made available by Duke University.


Encyclopedia of American Studies

  • More than 800 online, searchable articles and accompanying bibliographies, related websites, illustrations, and supplemental material covering the history, philosophy, arts, and cultures of the United States in relation to the world, from pre-colonial days to the present.

English Short Title Catalog

  • Lists over 480,000 items published between 1473-1800, mainly in English and published mostly in the British Isles & North America. Sourced from the British Library and over 2000 other libraries.


  • An electronic catalog of medieval and renaissance scientific instruments from four European museums


  • The institutional repository for Open Access publications from the University of California.


  • An e-theses online service with over 500,000 searchable doctoral theses, powered by the British Library.


  • Search for texts, videos, sound, and images from many European museums, archives, and libraries.