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Open Access Resources

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


Film Literature Index

  • Covers film, television and video productions, with articles ranging from the scholarly and critical to the popular.

Fine Bindings

  • Photographs of Watson Library's growing collections of decorated bindings.


  • An image-hosting and -sharing website which claims to host more than 4 billion digital images uploaded by its users.

Flickr Commons

  • Offers cultural heritage institutions a centralized, easy-to-use site to host selections from their digitized collections, and in so doing facilitate much wider public access to these collections than might otherwise be possible.



  • Online database from the Bibliothèque nationale de France offering a wide variety of fully scanned and searchable art resources, including auction catalogs.

Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus

  • The AAT contains around 60,000 records and 375,000 terms.

Getty Research Institute

  • A vast array of special collections of rare materials and digital resources. Some of its more relevant tools are listed individually among the below.

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names

  • A structured vocabulary of geographic places relevant to the study of art and architecture.

Getty Union List of Artist Names

  • A structured vocabulary with nearly 300,000 records for creators of cultural objects, including artists, architects, designers, and manufacturers.

Global EDT Search

  • Search over 5.9 million electronic theses and dissertations contained in the NDLTD archive.

Global Music Archive

  • Covers traditional and popular song, music, and dance of Africa and the Americas.

Google Cultural Institute

  • Images of the world’s cultural treasures, including artworks, landmarks and world heritage sites.

Google Patents

  • Search and read the full text of patents from around the world.

Great Buildings Collection

  • The site features 1,200 architectural historically significant buildings from all points of human history and on (nearly) all continents.


  • Covers the environment and a variety of disciplines such as agriculture, education, law, health and technology.


Harvard University Digital Collections

  • Harvard University makes a number of its special collections available in digitized form, which range widely by object type and subject matter.

History of Collecting in America

  • Database created to help researchers locate primary source material about American art collectors, dealers, agents and advisers, and the repositories that hold these records. Covers 18th century to present.



  • International advertising & design database.


  • Hierarchically ordered collection of definitions of objects, people, events and abstract ideas that may serve as the subject of an image.

Images from the History of Medicine

  • Provides access to nearly 70,000 images in the collections of the History of Medicine Division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Internet Archive

  • A non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. The site includes the Wayback Machine, a digital archive of the World Wide Web.


J. Paul Getty Museum

  • The collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum comprises Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art from the Neolithic to Late Antiquity; European art—including illuminated manuscripts, paintings, drawings, sculpture, and decorative arts—from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century; and international photography from its inception to the present day.

Japanese Illustrated Books

  • This collection includes over 650 18th and 19th century Japanese illustrated books held in The Met's Department of Asian Art.

JISC Digital Media

  • Dedicated to supplying the further and higher education communities with the knowledge needed to create and distribute high-quality digital media (still and moving images, sound, and multimedia).

JSTOR Register & Read

  • Access to free JSTOR articles, as well as the ability to save original work directly to the site.