30,000 downloadable images from Te Papa: open-access just got bigger

Te Papa’s Collections Online released over 30,000 images today, freely downloadable.

One day, I will be as effortlessly cool as this woman. Image now available on Te Papa's Collections Online.

One day, I will be as effortlessly cool as this woman. Image now available on Te Papa’s Collections Online. “Cleopatra” in Domain Cricket Ground, 1914, Auckland, by Robert Walrond. Purchased 1999 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (A.018196)

This project, for me, fulfils the ethos of what a museum should be about: increasing access to and availability of knowledge, for everyboday. Got access to a PC or smartphone? You can use these images in myriad different ways.

And, whilst I truly believe in the ethical and educational benefits of open-access and sharing knowledge, I also appreciate the opportunity to make under-utilised LOLPenguins.

Penguins: under-utilised in the world of LOLanimals. [Group of Penguins], Dunedin, by Burton Brothers, maker unknown. Te Papa (C.018345)

Penguins: under-utilised in the world of LOLanimals. [Group of Penguins], Dunedin, by Burton Brothers, maker unknown. Te Papa (C.018345)

Visit Collections Online to see what you can find.

Full disclosure: I worked on this project, so I am somewhat biased (although I worked nowhere near as hard as the tireless Rights Advisor and Collections team). Te Papa is following in the footsteps of excellent institutions who’ve already trodden this ground, namely the always impressive Rijks Museum and latterly the Metropolitan Museum of Art who recently released 400,000 images. I’m looking forward to seeing how people use the images, and finding out which images are most popular…my money’s on the penguins.

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