Enfilade

Nationalmuseum Releases 3,000 images on Wikimedia Commons

Posted in museums, resources by Editor on October 13, 2016
a_company_bather_in_a_park_jean-baptiste_pater_-_nationalmuseum_-_17877-tif
Jean-Baptiste Pater (1695–1736), A Company of Bathers in a Park, oil on canvas, 49 x 59 cm (Stockholm: Nationalmuseum, NM874, photograph by Cecilia Heisser).

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Press release (11 October 2016) from Sweden’s Nationalmuseum:

Nationalmuseum is making 3,000 high-resolution images of its most popular artworks available for free download on Wikimedia Commons. Zoomable images will also be added to the museum’s online database. The digitization project is a major advance in making Nationalmuseum’s collections more accessible.

David von Cöln, Pineapple Plant, 1729, oil on canvas, 112 x 91 cm (Stockholm: Nationalmuseum / Gripsholm Castle).

David von Cöln, Pineapple Plant, 1729, oil on canvas, 112 x 91 cm (Stockholm: Nationalmuseum / Gripsholm Castle).

While the Nationalmuseum building is under renovation, only a small part of the collections is accessible to the public. To provide more opportunity for people to enjoy its artworks, the museum embarked last year on a joint project with Wikimedia Sweden. As a result, high-resolution images of some 3,000 paintings from the collections are now available for download on Wikimedia Commons as public domain. This means they are part of our shared cultural heritage and can be freely used for any purpose. The images are also now zoomable, but not currently downloadable, in Nationalmuseum’s online database.

“We are committed to fulfilling our mission to promote art, interest in art, and art history by making images from our collections an integral part of today’s digital environment,” said Berndt Arell, director general of Nationalmuseum. “We also want to make the point that these artworks belong to and are there for all of us, regardless of how the images are used. We hope our open collection will inspire creative new uses and interpretations of the artworks.”

Nationalmuseum will continue to make its collections more accessible as digitization gathers pace and digital infrastructure improves. The longer-term goal is to create a portal offering quick and easy access to all the museum’s fine art collections and archives. Nationalmuseum joins a growing number of museums that have released images of their collections, including The Royal Armoury and Skokloster Castle with the Hallwyl Museum Foundation in Sweden, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen. Data on the images in Wikipedia Commons, including links to the zoomable versions, is available on GitHub as raw material for coders taking part in Hack4Heritage—an event being organized by Digisam, the agency coordinating the digitization of Sweden’s cultural heritage, in partnership with the Stockholm City Archives, on 14–16 October.

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