03 June 2014

Free, downloadable images from Te Papa’s collections online now!

I came upon the Te Papa website about a year ago as I was searching for Samoan old photos of my Samoan families. I've had success in founding some family photos on Te Papa's online collection that I've shared with my family and they were even surprised to see the photos. It was then that I decided to add a Samoan Old Photo board to the SGG Pinterest page that has grown to more then 900 images. Some images that you will see on the Samoan Old Photo board I pinned from the Te Papa online collection.

Te Papa just posted a blog today about the image collection. Here's what they said:

"A few weeks ago we released an updated version of Collections Online, making images bigger, search results clearer, and easier to use regardless of what device you are using. Today we are extremely happy to let you know about our latest development; over 30,000 images downloadable, for free, in the highest resolution we have them. You can search for and download them at Collections Online

Over 14,000 images are available under a Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND. If you aren’t familiar with Creative Commons it can look a little complicated, but what it means is you can use those images if attribute the image (we help you do that at each download page). You can’t make money from using the image, and you can’t change the image. Might sound a little restrictive but there is plenty you can still do, like use it in your homework, on your blog, print it and hang it on your wall…

But even better are the 17,000 images that downloadable for any use, any use at all. These images have no known copyright restrictions. Again it would be good if you attributed the original maker of the work, and link to the page on Collections Online so others can find it, but that isn’t mandatory.

We’ve made these images available under these licences for quite a while now, but it hasn’t been easy to download high resolution copies of them up to this point. This new development fixes that. You can search through the collections for reusable images by ticking “with downloadable images” on the search box.

Then just look for the Download button beneath the images. We hope that by making these images available for reuse, we are empowering people to use images of the collection in teaching and learning, research, innovation and new forms of creativity. There are similar initiatives in the USA (Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Los Angeles County of Art, and Yale University to name a few); and Europe (the Rijksmuseum, British Library, British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum). And recently the National Library of New Zealand also announced an Open Access Policy.

We have a large, diverse collection from many sources, covering a large range of subject areas. We can only make images available for items that are out of copyright, or where Te Papa owns the copyright. We’ve done a lot of work on researching copyright but we’re still working on through the collection so expect more to be released over time. And of course we need to have digitised the item!

We’ve been digitising our collection for a while now, and technology has changed over the years. This means some of our images are super high resolution, others, which may have been done a few years ago with old technology, maybe aren’t so big. But we thought we’d still make them downloadable in the meantime anyway, so you can use them. We’ll keep working through our collections digitising new items, and sometimes making better images to replace some of the smaller scans. If you do download images from the collections, we’d be really interested to know how you are using them. Maybe leave a comment here, or tweet us at @TePapaColonline, we are really interested to see what creative things you do with the images, or how they are helping you with research, homework, or brightening up your room. Start searching and downloading at Collections Online."

So, visit their site. Type "Samoa" in the search box and hit "Enter". Try other searches such as a name or a village.  Here are some photos of my family that I have found on the Te Papa Site.

Title: [King Malietoa and Queen, Samoa]
Production: Burton Brothers (photography studio), 1884, Dunedin 
Unknown (photographer), 1884, Apia 

Title: Malietoa Tanu, King of Samoa
Production: Muir & Moodie (photography studio), New Zealand 
Unknown (photographer), Samoa 

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