The Metropolitan Museum of Art has increased its digital presence over the last few years. With accessibility in mind, the world-famous institution has made public domain images, photographs of its permanent collection, and even free full-text art books available to the public. Now, it even offers virtual access to its famed Thomas J. Watson Library, letting users peruse 50,000 of its resources with the click of a mouse.
This eclectic archive reflects the encyclopedic nature of the museum's collections. Featuring art history books, exhibition catalogs, illustrated plates, and an abundance of “rare and unique materials,” it appeals to an array of audiences, from connoisseurs of classical art to contemporary fashion fanatics.
Like all of the Met's free resources, this treasure trove of materials is easy to access and navigate. On the Digital Collections homepage, you can either search for specific titles and topics or browse through its various collections, including art publications, rare books, and much more. Once a piece has piqued your interest, you can either read it online or download it to your device—no museum admission or library card required!