The Grand Rapids Public Museum recently published all of its collections records and the majority of its 150,000 digital images under a Creative Commons Zero license.
As a result, all of the museum’s photographs of artifacts, specimens, scans of photographs and catalogs, among other things, are now available in the public domain to be viewed and downloaded by the public here: grpmcollections.org
“This is part of GRPM’s vision of broad accessibility, including accessible collections and sharing knowledge for all,” said Dale Robertson, president and CEO of the GRPM. “Through this Creative Commons licensing, anyone who finds one of our resources can download and use it for no charge without having to get special permission. This is especially nice for our educational K-12 partners, students, teachers, researchers, authors, media creators and anyone with interest.”
“It is our belief that as a public institution, dedicated to the stewardship of these collections, we have a duty to make them as accessible as possible,” said Alex Forist, chief curator at the GRPM. “Publishing our collections data and images under a Creative Commons Zero license removes so many barriers like fees, permissions and citation requirements. We have been working hard for years to create this content, and we want to make it as simple as possible for anyone to find and use.”
Some images are classified as either “Creative Commons Attribution NonCommericial-NoDerivitaves” or “Restricted” because GRPM does not have the rights to place the images in the public domain.