The National Media Museum is situated in the UNESCO city of film, Bradford in United Kingdom. It houses more than 3.5 million items in their collections that are of cultural significance to photography, cinematography and television. The museum contributed about 580 photographs to Flickr Commons, which include photography equipment, famous photographers and writers, British Royal Family, significant events and world’s first moving pictures. Each image includes commentary provided by the museum.
The LIFE Photo Archive is a comprehensive archive of photographs and etchings that are produced or owned by the defunct LIFE Magazine, dating back to the 1750s. Captured by LIFE photographers and photo journalists like Alfred Eisenstaedt and Margaret Bourke-White, the photographs documented important events in the world, evolution of fashion and lifestyles and the lives of celebrities and everyday people. According to Google, most of the photographs have never been published. Started in 2008, users can search for millions of images from the LIFE archive, which contains about 10 million photographs. Users can do a keyword search by adding “source:life” to any Google image search. For example, “vietnam war source:life”. Alternatively, users may browse by different 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.
Skitterphoto provides photographs that are taken by three photographers based in Groningen, The Netherlands. Since the platform launched in 2014, a photo is uploaded every single day. Users can search or browse by 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.
VADS is an “online resource for visual arts”. Over 12 years, VADS built a portfolio of visual art collections, which comprise of “over 100,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in learning, teaching and research in the UK”. These collections were contributed by various institutions in the UK. Through the site, users can search or browse by collections and themes. VADS also provides a series of resources that were built around the image collections by “specialist authors and lecturers”.
The Art Institute of Chicago was founded as both a museum and school for fine arts around 1879. Today, it houses more than 300,000 works of art in their permanent collections, ranging from “Chinese bronzes to contemporary design and from textiles to installation art”. The digital collection contains more than 80,000 images, where you can search or browse by categories. The website also allows you to sign up for an account and make your own art collections by selecting artworks and adding notes about them. You can save your “collections” to revisit in the future or share them with your friends.
The National Geographic Society is one of the largest scientific institutions in the world, focusing on geography, archaeology, natural science, conversation and the study of world culture and history. They offer stunning photographs, which can be a good source of images in these areas for educational and personal purposes.
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is continually making their collections accessible online. To date, their collections span from paintings, prints, drawings, photography to more specific works like African art, Asian art, decorative arts and new media.