Yale is opening up its collection of images for public use on the internet.
Yale is the first Ivy to unveil new open access policy that will allow any internet-user access to a collective catalog of images of millions of objects from University museums, libraries and archives. These include photos of such renowned collection items as a Sonata written in Mozart’s hand and a watercolor by William Blake. The University will not restrict how the images are used and will require no licensing for their release.
“[Open access] is a splendid achievement that we hope will inspire other colleges and universities internationally to follow suit,” said Amy Meyers, director of the Yale Center for British Art, in a University press release announcing the policy.
Mariët Westermann, vice president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, said in the release that the high costs of reproduction rights often limit scholars’ ability to publish “richly illustrated” books and articles on art and architecture. Yale’s decision to open access to some of these images, Westermann added, will help scholars early in their careers to publish.
Harvard’s library currently has an open collections program, but it does not duplicate books or manuscripts. Instead, the program offers similar virtual material subject to licensing.
A slideshow of the website’s offerings is available through the office of public affairs and communications.