Download the Metropolitan Museum of Art's archives for free

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, Last Updated: 11:15 AM ET

There's good news for art fans this week as over 400,000 high-resolution digital images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection are now available for the public to download free of charge.

The New York museum has also said it will expand the collection, adding new digital files on a regular basis.

As part of an initiative called Open Access for Scholarly Content, the images are available for non-commercial use, including by schools and the media.

"Through this new, open-access policy, we join a growing number of museums that provide free access to images of art in the public domain," said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"I am delighted that digital technology can open the doors to this trove of images from our encyclopedic collection."

Images in the online collection include works by Picasso, El Greco and even Yves Saint Laurent and many of them are not currently on display in the museum.

The museum's body of work was already available online, but the move to make them available in high resolution means that users will have an almost perfect impression of the works.

Pieces that are covered by the new policy are identified on the museum's website with the acronym OASC.

Not all images are available, due to criteria such as copyright or privacy statuses or restrictions by the artist or donor.


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