Museums, Galleries & Virtual Museums

Museums, galleries, archives and other online image collections selected for their education-friendly terms and conditions of use.

AICT: Art Images for College Teaching
Set up by Visual Resources Curator Allan Kohl at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, these images have been made available to academic personnel, their institutions, their libraries and archives for non-commercial educational use.

Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery Pre-Raphaelite online resource Although you cannot download images from this site, you can create your own personal collections of images, plus the zoom tool (using Silverlight) is fantastic.

The British Museum Search over two million objects in the museum’s collection, register for the FREE non-commercial image service and have the images emailed to you (maximum of 100 per month). Read the terms and conditions of use carefully!

Eastern Art Online: Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art has primarily been created for use by the education community. The images and material on this website can be used for education purposes, including unpublished essays, project work and dissertations, lectures, course handouts and presentations.

Flickr Commons
Not so much a museum as many museums: 44 to be precise. The content is all photography with ‘no known copyright restrictions’. As it could also be described as an image ‘portal’, Flickr Commons also appears in the ‘Image Hub’ section.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York’s collection database has over 130,000 works of art viewable online with a zoom facility: they can be used for “limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only”. Some of the Met’s images are also available as higher resolution files which are distributed through ARTstor’s Images for Academic Publishing (IAP) service, for journal articles and small print-run publications.

The National Maritime Museum online collections number over 12,000. You can download images of up to 1024 pixels on the long side for personal, non-commercial use. The images range from fine art to decorative arts to maps and charts &  astronomical and navigational instruments. The NMM also has some of its photographic collections up on Flickr Commons – also see below.

An educational non-commercial database. Covers design classics, furniture, lighting and product design. Searchable by designer, manufacturer, or time-line. Contact site owners for terms and conditions of use.

The Victoria and Albert Museum Full search and browse options.  A dedicated educational and research source.  News! A new Beta version of  ‘Search the Collections’ is available with many more images.

Web Gallery of Art
European painting and sculpture from 12th to mid 19th centuries. Searchable or browsable, with a dual-page comparisons feature. A free art history resource, primarily for students and teachers. See the information page for copyright conditions.

World Digital Library
This site brings together digital content from libraries across the world, allowing you to search by place, time, topic, item type or by institution and is multi-lingual too! As above, this resource is also included in ‘Image Hubs’.

A wide range of subjects, art and design, culture, history, music, nature and science. Searchable and browsable. WorldImages is accessible anywhere and its images can be freely used for non-profit, educational purposes. The copyright holder must be credited.


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