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New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art releases 375,000 digital works for remix and re-use online via CC0

About CC, Open Culture


Today, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York announces that all public domain images in its collection will be shared under CC0, expanding their digital collection by over 375,000 images as well as providing data on over 420,000 museum objects spanning more than 5,000 years. CC0 allows anyone to use, re-use, and remix a work without restriction. This announcement will shape the future of public domain images online and underscores the Met’s leadership role as one of the most important open museum collections in the world.

Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley joined the Met to announce the release. The Met collection of CC0 images can be browsed on the new CC Search beta, also announced this morning.

“Sharing is fundamental to how we promote discovery, innovation, and collaboration in the digital age,” said Merkley. “Today, The Met has given the world a profound gift in service of its mission: the largest museum in the United States has eliminated the barriers that would otherwise prohibit access to its content, and invited the world to use, remix, and share their public domain collections widely and without restriction.”


Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Thomas P. Campbell concurs: “In making images of our public-domain artworks available to audiences under CC0, the Museum is adapting its practice to make our collection available in a way that best meets the needs of 21st-century, digital audiences. We are excited to share with the public new pathways to creativity, knowledge, and ideas as manifest in the greater utility of its collections spanning 5,000 years of art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art thanks Creative Commons, an international leader in collaboration, sharing, and copyright, for beings our partner in this effort.”

At the announcement, Met partners also shared a series of other open initiatives, including the museum’s first Wikipedian-in-residence, a Github repository of the publicly accessible data, and a partnership with ITHAKA-Artstor and Pinterest to provide more extensive access to its collections. More information on these initiatives can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Image and Data Resources page.


Our profound thanks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for making this partnership possible. Today’s announcement is the result of the hard work and leadership of the incredible staff team at The Met, and Creative Commons is proud to have supported the development and implementation of this new policy. Through the power of the commons, billions of people will now be able to enjoy the beauty of the Met’s collections as well as participate in the continued growth of the commons, utilizing the infrastructure that makes greater collaboration possible.

Stay tuned to our social media and Slack for more updates and experience the collection yourself at the new CC Search beta.

Posted 07 February 2017