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The Smithsonian Just Released 2.8 Million Images Into the Public Domain

The Smithsonian just made a public domain contribution that it’s calling “unprecedented in both depth and breadth.” In one fell swoop, the institution is adding over 2.8 million images to an online platform called Open Access, where you can browse and download images for free.

While other world-famous museums have digitized and released large parts of their collections into the public domain in the past, nobody has done it in such a dramatic fashion.

Open Access gives the public free and easy access to over 2.8 million 2D and 3D images from all 19 Smithsonian museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives and the National Zoo, with no restrictions on how you can use, alter, or reuse the images. The Smithsonian Magazine itself said the platform encourages users to “transform [the images] into just about anything they choose—be it a postcard, a beer koozie or a pair of bootie shorts.”

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