Over 100 Museums Invite You to “Color Their Collections” with Free Adult Coloring Books

The adult coloring craze isn’t just a passing fad. Our love of filling in black-and-white line drawings goes back as far as the 18th century; it's only recently, however, that the adult coloring book trend was reinvigorated and seen as a way to unwind from our busy, connected lives. Bridging the gap between history and contemporary culture is the Color Our Collections campaign, in which libraries and museums from around the world invite you to reimagine their acquisitions in vibrant hues.

Organized by The New York Academy of Medicine Library, there are over 100 institutions that have compiled free adult coloring books as well as free coloring book pages for download. Each reflects the materials that they hold in their collections. The range of participating organizations and their available subject matter is impressive; from rare books to scientific diagrams to ornate Art Nouveau, there is truly something for everyone—and hours upon hours of relaxing entertainment.

If you’re looking for somewhere to begin, check out one of our favorite coloring books by The Newberry Library. Its offerings include an illustration that appears in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Museums and libraries around the world participate in the Color Our Collections campaign. For it, they create free adult coloring books with free printable coloring pages, based on items from their collections.

Over 100 institutions participate in the creative campaign. Here are some of them:

And here's some of the types of pages to color. There's something for everyone, depending on your interests.

Color Our Collections: Website

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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