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Yale Opens Museum and Library Collections Online (Really, Really Open)

All other universities take note, particularly of the Ivy League variety: Yale is getting it done and making things happen. Last year you might recall, we reported on their School of Architecture getting ultra-serious about their archives, with dean Robert A.M. Stern leading the charge in making sure their current collection is in good shape, actively encouraging alumni and famous architects alike to donate their materials, and generally instilling archival importance over the last decade, after years of unfortunate neglect. Now Yale has announced that they intend to make the entirety their museum and library collections available online. Most impressive, they’re doing this with no license required for access and no limitations on the use of these images and scans. Thus far, more than 250,000 images have been uploaded to their new collection catalog, with more on the way. There are millions of pieces spread across the school (12 million alone at the Peabody Museum of Natural History), so this week’s launch is but a scratch at the surface. For helping you decide how you want to kill the rest of your day, here’s a bit about what’s currently available:

The Yale treasures that are now accessible under the new policy are as wide-ranging as the collections themselves and include such diverse items as a small limestone stela with hieroglyphic inscription from the Peabody Museum of Natural History, a Mozart sonata in the composer’s own hand from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, a 15th-century Javanese gold kris handle from the Indo-Pacific collection of Yale University Art Gallery and a watercolor by William Blake from the collection of prints and drawings in the Yale Center for British Art.

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