Kunstformen der Natur (or known in English as Art Forms in Nature) is a book of prints by German biologist, Ernst Haeckel. The geometric shapes and natural forms captured precisely by Haeckel continue to inspire artists and scientists. Via Wikimedia Commons, you may access more than 100 illustrations from the publication.
BILDGEIST is a “visual journal of scientific illustrations, illuminated manuscripts, photographs, prints and artworks from the public domain”. The images are of various themes including astronomy, alchemy, mythology, cartography, anthropology, zoology, botany, and general curiosa. Users can filter the contents by period, categories and keyword tags.
This collection is a cabinet of curiosities compiled by Sydney-based Paul K (also known as PK or peakay). It contains rare book illustrations and drawings from digital repositories, covering a wide range of “styles, topics and time periods… from astronomy to zoology and from Art Nouveau to the Renaissance”, as indicated by PK. Each set of images are accompanied by a URL linking to the bibliodyssey website that contains the background commentaries. A book titled “BibliOdyssey : archival images from the Internet” was also published in 2007 based on the compilation. As of October 2015, more than 10,000 images have been uploaded to Flickr.
Wikimedia Commons is a “media file repository” of public domain and freely-licensed educational media content, including images, sounds and video clips. Launched on 7 September 2004 by the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Commons uses the “wiki-technology” that is the same technology used in Wikipedia. Wikmedia Commons also aggregates files from other projects, including Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikivoyage, Wikispecies, Wikisource, and Wikinews. As of October 2015, there are more than 28.7 million files in more than 120,000 collections. Users can conduct a keyword search or browse the content by topic, type, author, location, license and source.
This site features visual mash-ups, mosaics, blends and collages created by QThomasBower. As of September 2015, there are about 400 works uploaded.
The National Gallery of Australia is one of the largest museums in the country. It houses more than 160,000 works of art in Australian art, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander art, Asian art, European and American art, Asian art and Pacific art. Users can conduct a keyword search or browse by the different categories.
Australian Prints + Printmaking provides “a gateway for information on printed images from Australia and the Asia Pacific region”. The site provides a database of prints and printmaking by artists from Australia and the pacific regions, including New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. The site also allows users to explore the collections through three experimental web interfaces, designed by Mitchell Whitelaw and Ben Ennis Butler. The interfaces are created as part of their research into ‘generous interfaces’ that attempt to provide new ways to explore digital collections. Users can search or browse by artists, subjects, works and networks, and decade summary.
Pixabay is a photo community that provides images on public domain. The site contains curated images contributed by photographers around the world. As of September 2015, there are more than 470,000 photographs, vectors and illustrations. Users can search by keywords or browse by various categories.
The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is the national museum of New Zealand. Their collections online contain information of more than 500,000 works of art. Among them, more than 30000 have downloadable images for reuse in high resolution. Users can search by keywords.
Since mid 1700s, the Princeton University has been collecting art. To date, there are more than “92,000 works of art spanning the world of art from antiquity to the present”, as mentioned by James Christen Steward, the Director of the Princeton University Art Museum. Users can search or browse by different collections.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is among the largest museums in Canada. To date, there are about 41,000 works in their holdings. Their collections are distributed across six sections: Archaeology and World Cultures, Early to Modern International Art, Quebec and Canadian Art, International Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts and Design, and Graphic Arts and Photography. Users can search or browse images by the different sections.
MNML provides minimalistic wallpapers designed by social media marketeer, AJ Montpetit.
Display is “a curated collection of important modern, mid 20th century graphic design books, periodicals, advertisements and ephemera”. Developed by Kind Company, a web and print design agency based in New York, the intention was to spread awareness of Graphic Design as “a source of educational, historical and scholarly analysis for teachers, students, designers and independent researchers”. Images from Display are digitised from original items within the collection.
This collection was started as part of the “All Of Us Or None” (AOUON) archive project by Free Speech Movement activist Michael Rossman in 1977. The objective was “to gather and document posters of modern progressive movements in the United States”. The collection contains more than 20,000 political posters with a focus on “the domestic political poster renaissance that began in 1965 and continues to this day”. Users can search or browse the images.
From vectors to PSD files, icons and stock photos, Freepik provides resources for graphic and web design. As of August 2015, the site has received more than 440 million downloads. Developed by “a team of designers, developers, professionals of marketing, communication and administration” based in Spain, Freepik offers two types of content: free and exclusive graphic resources by Freepik, and graphic resources belonging to others. Users can search or browse by categories.
Since 2013, British Library released more than 1 million images to Flickr Commons. The images were obtained from the Library’s digitised collection of 65,000 books of the 17th, 18th and 19th century. The release of these images indicates the Library’s desire “to improve knowledge of and about them, to enable novel and unexpected ways of using them, and to begin working with researchers to explore and interpret large scale digital collections”. The images are arranged by different themes, such as book covers, illustrated letters, maps, flora and children book illustrations.
Vintage Printable provides images that are believed to be on public domain or out of copyright. Most of the images are focused on vintage naturalist or scientific illustrations. Users can search or browse by different categories.
The Cleveland Museum of Art houses close to 45,000 objects that span across 6,000 years. Their online collection provides access to close to 34,800 images. Users can search or browse by various collections, creators and types.
Developed by The Open Knowledge Foundation, The Public Domain Review is “an online journal and not-for-profit project dedicated to promoting and celebrating the public domain in all its richness and variety”, as according to the website. Images in their collections are derived from a wide range of online archives, that are on public domain. The images are arranged by topics, where users can search or browse by time, style, genre, type, content and rights.
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is “a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global ‘biodiversity commons'”. Started in 2011, the staff of BHL began to upload illustrations from books in their collections. These illustrations were created over the past 500 years. To date, more than 98,000 of natural history and botanical illustrations have been uploaded to their Flickr account.