Under its new Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) initiative, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art will offer more than 400,000 high resolution digital images of public domain works.

The images will be available for non-commercial use only, and using them will not require any fee or permission from the Museum.

All images that the Museum deems to be in the public domain will be available, marked on the Museum’s website with an OASC logo:

The Museum’s photography collection comprises some 34,886 items, including early works by William Henry Fox Talbot and other pioneers of photography, which will now be downloadable under the OASC initiative.

The number of available images is expected to increase as more files are added on a daily basis.

Thomas P Campbell, Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said, ‘Through this new, open-access policy, we join a growing number of museums that provide free access to images of art in the public domain.’

‘I am delighted that digital technology can open the doors to this trove of images from our encyclopaedic collection.’