Europe’s galleries, museums, libraries and archives are rich in beautiful visual materials suitable for all kinds of art and design related projects. Increasingly these are being made available in high resolution and with open licenses, and new features in the Europeana Collections website and Europeana API allow users to find high quality materials perfect for their creative needs.
Here we will explain the different ways that you can explore, uncover and access these materials.
The recently relaunched Europeana Collections website is a searchable, visual interface to the complete collection of nearly 50 million records. Browsing through individual items you can, where available, manually download original media files. A good place to start is the Europeana Art History Collection - a broad selection of over 1.2 million art history related items, together with thematic exhibitions and curated collections.
Here are some further Collections links and tips to help you:
On the left hand side of any search results page you will see extra filters that allow you to refine your search
- First you will want to select an appropriate license - for most creative projects it's best to choose the option "Can I use it? Yes - with attribution" which will only contain re-usable content that can be used commercially and be modified.
- Then you may want to choose a content type, such as just images.
- At this point more content-specific options appear, such as filtering by image resolution. The Art History Collection contains over 125,000 items with directly accessible images greater than 4 megapixels.
- Other options are available, such as searching by colour. This is based on the W3C pallette, and you can see a full list of indexed colours.
- Of course you can also combine these with standard text searches, such as looking for portraits or paintings
Colour Explorer app using the new media metadata API methods
Europeana on Pinterest
- Europeana's Pinterest boards contain highlights from the collections hand-picked by our content specialists, representing the cream of the visual content available on Europeana.
- Downloadable image files and simple csv format data files for each board are available on Dropbox (experimental)
On Europeana Labs we feature some of the best open datasets in Europeana. For each there is a link to browse the collection and for developers our API console shows how to query the API to extract that content. For example these include 5,000 public domain artworks from the Statens Museum for Kunst in Denmark, historic events in paintings from the Amsterdam Museum, and a collection of over 2,000 historical fashion drawings and prints.
Items from the fashion dataset
The Europeana API provides direct access for developers to the complete data available through Europeana. This allows the creation of powerful, content rich apps and services. Indeed our own website runs on the API, and all the search methods are available for use.
- Openly licensed content - &reusability=open
- Limit to items with >4 megapixel images - &qf=IMAGE_SIZE:extra_large
- Colour search - add one or more colours e.g. &colourpalette=%23556B2F (Dark Olive Green)
- Subject searches e.g. paintings - &qf=what:painting
- to replicate the filter used on the Art History Collection see the Art History dataset page
Find out more
- Read more about the API in our extensive API documentation
- Learn how to use the new media metadata methods to restrict searches to items with directly available media files such as images and audio; also to search by quality, colour, and a whole lot more!
- See how to ensure that you use content that is correctly licensed for your product
- Data is also available via a SPARQL endpoint and OAI-PMH.
Full details for the entry criteria to the 1st Europeana Challenge can be found on the Challenge page.
If you have any questions or are seeking particular content, please email firstname.lastname@example.org