Artistic Endeavors – Free to Use and Reuse

Bless the Library of Congress for making so much good stuff available. To quote from its website,

This page features items from the Library’s digital collections that are free to use and reuse. The Library believes that this content is either in the public domain, has no known copyright, or has been cleared by the copyright owner for public use. Each set of content is based on a theme and is first featured on the Library’s home page.

These sets are just a small sample of the Library’s digital collections that are free to use and reuse. The digital collections comprise millions of items including books, newspapers, manuscripts, prints and photos, maps, musical scores, films, sound recordings and more. Whenever possible, each collection has its own rights statement which should be consulted for guidance on use. Learn more about copyright and the Library’s collections.

I can’t add to that description, but will share some of the delights that appealed to me as I browsed the collections.

Japanese woodblock prints

Doesn’t it look like they’re wearing quilts?


Looks like inspiration for a modern quilt.

I never thought of costumes as Pennsylvania’s prime attraction.


Montana cowboys – the original Marlboro man?

Billie Holiday
Geo. Miles with an impressive ‘stache.
J. E. Hanger. I’d love to know why he wanted to show his prosthesis.

Covers and Miscellaneous

What a great font.

Love the art nouveau styling.

I think that lady better be careful of her foot. The axe wielder looks none too competent.

Word of warning, you can spend many hours poking around the Library’s offerings. And what’s shown on the Free to Use and Reuse Sets is a small fraction of what’s available. The digital collections contain thousands of items, some more esoteric than others.


Filed under Commentary

12 responses to “Artistic Endeavors – Free to Use and Reuse

  1. Wow–even your selected examples are inspiring! I like the book cover best–I think that was a golden age of book design.

  2. Jane

    I’ll look forward to seeing what you do with some of these, Joanna. We should all live long enough to take advantage of even a fraction of the inspirations. My husband has spent many happy hours prowling through the photography “stacks” on the Library of Congress site, as well as the NASA, JPL, and other tax-supported locations, and has spent countless more hours experimenting with various alternative processes to find just the right printing method for each one. Retirement didn’t come a moment too soon for either of us!

  3. Thanks for sharing, the collection is endless, so many different art styles and directions. HELP – I need more time!!!

  4. Thank you, I really need a morning to just sit and wander through the virtual stacks in piece and quiet.

  5. Rosemaryflower

    Amazing Thank you loads for sharing. I do love Billie Holiday, she is one of my favs. The moustashe is crazy

  6. Wow, these are wonderful. Too much inspiration! There are a lot of collections from museums and libraries now available for use. The problem is sorting through them and actually using them, rather than getting lost in the wonders. Thanks.

I Love to Hear From You

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.