Smithsonian Open Access

Get your browser bookmarks ready, boys and girls, you’ll be creating a bookmark for this one.

You know what the Smithsonian institutions are. Now imagine: what if you not only had access to many of their images, media and related resources, but you also could use any of it at no cost, even commercially.

No need to imagine. We now have Smithsonian Open Access, which provides us with exactly that.

They say so up front and center. It’s “where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking.” We’re talking about a resource that currently has 4.4 million digital assets for us to play with and use. For now, since they’re continuously adding to them.

It’s got incredibly useful filters too to help with searching through those millions. For the past hour, for instance, I’ve been perusing a whole bunch of paintings, prints, photographs and other similar art from just its Hirshhorn and Asian Art Museum collections, for images that can potentially be used for book covers.

If this doesn’t excite you, you’re dead inside.

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