Most of us know Unsplash as a home of free stock photos (and an endless source of discussion about whether or not we should share our images for free). But today, there’s a good news story coming from the company. Thanks to its latest partnership, Unsplash is now offering a selection of historical photos free for everyone to download and use.
Unsplash has teamed up with 13 notable institutions from all over the world. They include the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the British Library, and Europeana, to name just a few. And you can find pretty much everything: from historical images of soldiers in the First World War to baroque paintings.
David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library, commented:
“As keepers of one of the nation’s largest collections, we are dedicated to making our resources available and accessible and do so Free to All. Digitization efforts for our extensive collections are ongoing and include architectural plans, manuscripts, maps, photographs, prints, drawings, and rare books. Partnering with Unsplash helps us share these cultural and historical treasures even more broadly.”
Co-founder and CEO of Unsplash, Mikael Cho, said that the impact of photography has never been greater than today. ”By partnering with renowned institutions, our aim is to enable them to impact an audience at a far greater scale than ever before,” he added.
Here is the full list of institutions along with the links to their Unsplash pages:
- Birmingham Museums Trust
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Photo Library
- Boston Public Library
- Austrian National Library
- British Library
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Library of Congress
- McGill University Library
- Museums Victoria
- National Cancer Institute
- New York Public Library
- United States Geological Survey (USGS)
It’s worth noting that the Unsplash profiles of these institutions offer a relatively small selection of images compared to their official online libraries. For example, the Library of Congress contains millions of books, recordings, photos, and other materials. Its online collection has nearly 800,000 photos, while there is a selection of only 84 available on Unsplash.
However, all these institutions combined have created a neat library of nearly 1,700 items. It’s good to have a selection of important historic photos all in one place, and it’s possible that the number will grow in future. Still, if you need to download more historic and scientific images, here’s a list of institutions where you can also find them: