September 5, 2013
The Getty Museum announced that its former policy banning access to digital images has been amended. Digital images are now available for free on the Getty website for anyone who is interested. Previously, the Getty granted access to an image for a fee and with special terms and conditions. While the Getty still asks for the reason an individual is requesting an image, the process of obtaining a digital image is now made simple for everyone.
“The Museum is delighted to make these images available as the first step in a Getty-wide move toward open content,” said Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “The Getty’s collections are greatly in demand for publications, research and a variety of personal uses, and I am pleased that with this initiative they will be readily available on a global basis to anyone with Internet access.”
Currently, there are approximately 4,600 images from the J. Paul Getty Museum available on the Getty website for anyone to access.
These images represent “4,689 objects (some images show more than one object), including paintings, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, antiquities and sculpture and decorative arts. The Getty plans to add other images, until eventually all applicable Getty-owned or public domain images are available, without restrictions, online,” notes the press release.
The Getty’s initiative to make all images available online is directly related to the Getty’s founding mission.
“The Getty was founded to promote ‘the diffusion of artistic and general knowledge’ of the visual arts, and this new program arises directly from that mission,” said Getty president and CEO Jim Cuno. “In a world where, increasingly, the trend is toward freer access to more and more information and resources, it only makes sense to reduce barriers to the public to fully experience our collections.”
Open Content, An Idea Whose Time Has Come, The Getty Iris, 8/12/13