Yale offers free online access to its collections

Yale has digitized about 250,000 items so far.

Yale University announced May 10 that it will offer free online access to digital images of millions of objects housed in its museums, archives and libraries, and the school said it’s the first Ivy League university to make its collections accessible that way.

No license will be required for the transmission of the images and no limitations will be imposed on their use, which will allow scholars, artists and others around the world to use Yale collections for study, publication, teaching and inspiration, Yale said.

It will take many years for the university to digitize all its objects.

The school has harvested 1.5 million records from all its catalogs and digitized 250,000 of them, which are available through a newly developed collective catalog.

Yale expects the 1.5 million records to grow much larger as it continues to harvest its catalogs.

Images now accessible under the new policy include pictures of the war bonnet of Sioux chief “Red Cloud,” a Mozart sonata in the composer’s own hand and a 15th-century Javanese gold kris, or dagger, handle.

Yale says its collections are among the strongest in depth and breadth of any academic institution in the world, ranging from anthropology to vertebrate zoology and including world-renowned art collections from antiquity to the present.