Please visit Davison Art Collection Search to find and download DAC Open Access Images. A Davison Art Collection Search page has more information about the Open Content (collection images and metadata) that is available there.

Download this document as a PDF: DAC Open Access Policy, v. 1.1.

DAC Open Access Images Policy

The Davison Art Collection, Wesleyan University (DAC) now has an Open Access policy for all suitable digital images of collection objects that the DAC believes to be in the public domain and free of all rights restrictions. DAC Open Access Images are free of charge from the DAC for anyone to download and reproduce for any use, non-commercial or commercial, with no need to contact the DAC for permission or authorization and no need to pay the DAC any fee of any kind. This Open Access policy serves the DAC’s educational mission by fostering the creative use and re-use of these images from the collection in teaching, learning, research, and other social practice, and through those activities by educating and inspiring new users and viewers around the world. The following ten notes for users of DAC Open Access Images provide more details of this policy.

1. This DAC Open Access Images policy applies only to images specifically identified by the text "DAC Open Access Image." The policy does not apply to any other images or other DAC website content. Any image not specifically identified as a “DAC Open Access Image” may be protected by copyright or other legal rights.

2. As a courtesy to the DAC and to enable others to learn about its collection, the DAC encourages you to include the following credit, in precisely the form stated here, with any use of a DAC Open Access Image:

Open Access Image from the Davison Art Collection, Wesleyan University.

3. DAC Open Access Image users may not state, suggest, or imply in any way that the Davison Art Collection or Wesleyan University endorses, approves, or has participated in projects using DAC Open Access Images.

4. Each image user is solely responsible for her or his use of images obtained from the DAC. The DAC aims to determine the rights status of its collection objects and believes its Open Access images to be in the public domain, but the DAC can only give permission with respect to rights it actually holds. The DAC makes no representations or warranties that use of DAC Open Access Images will not violate rights that other persons or entities may have under the laws of various countries. Before using any DAC Open Access Image in any way, it is your responsibility to determine whether any third party may hold copyright or other rights which may restrict your use of the image, and to secure any required permission from any third-party rights holder(s).

5. The DAC asks users aware of any legitimate rights claim associated with an image being provided under this DAC Open Access Images policy to please contact the DAC with detailed information about that claim.

6. No copyright or other proprietary right in any digital image itself, or in the work of art it represents, is conveyed by making the image accessible under this policy. Furthermore, in making the image accessible, the DAC does not grant any user an exclusive right to use or reproduce such an image or work of art.

7. As digital representations, DAC Open Access Images are affirmatively placed into the public domain to the greatest degree possible. These images represent objects believed by the DAC to be free of restrictions, but because the DAC cannot guarantee that the underlying works are free of third-party rights in all jurisdictions, DAC Open Access Images are provided as having "no known copyright restrictions."

8. The DAC respects the doctrine of fair use of copyrighted works. Nothing in this policy is intended to limit the application of fair use doctrine to the reproduction of these or any images of objects in the DAC collection.

9. This policy allows automated harvesting of DAC Open Access content once doing so is technically feasible. Work is under way to provide machine-harvestable Open Access images or object metadata (for example, LIDO metadata from object records via Davison Art Collection Search online). DAC object metadata generally is provided under a Creative Commons license as specified in association with that metadata.

10. If you reproduce a DAC Open Access Image in a print publication or other physical work and can send one copy to the DAC, the DAC would appreciate it. Because these are Open Access images, this is not required.

DAC Open Access Images Implementation

In order to contribute to the timely momentum of Open Access image policies in museums, the DAC put this policy into effect as early as possible. Suitable images of most DAC objects do not yet exist, but photography is ongoing as resources allow, and the number of DAC Open Access Images will grow as it proceeds. (If you wish to request new photography of specific objects and receive a quote for the associated photography fees, please contact the DAC.)

Works believed to be in the public domain are those believed to be subject neither to copyright (because the legal term of copyright has expired or no evidence has been found that copyright restrictions apply) nor to any other rights. Although the process of determining rights status can be time-consuming and inconclusive, the DAC intends to clarify the status of its collection objects and to create Open Access images of them if and when there is reason to believe they are in the public domain. In so doing, the DAC respects intellectual property rights and complies with applicable copyright law; respects privacy and publicity rights; and abides by provisions in donor and other agreements that may restrict the use of some objects.

So, an Open Access image of a DAC object may not be available for one or more of these reasons:

  • the work has not yet been photographed or the quality of existing photographs is insufficient
  • the work is still under copyright or its copyright status is unclear
  • privacy or right-of-publicity issues are believed to exist in regard to the work
  • the work is not fully owned by the Davison Art Collection, Wesleyan University
  • contractual restrictions specified by the artist or donor preclude Open Access

For as many works as possible in the categories above, the DAC still intends to provide thumbnail images in accordance with the Guidelines on Fair Use from the Association of Art Museum Directors.

How to Find and Download DAC Open Access Images

More than 5,000 downloadable DAC Open Access Images representing most of the DAC's European and American prints from before ca. 1900 are now available via Davison Art Collection Search. More images will be added as they become available.

Tips and technical recommendations for DAC image users are available in the DAC Open Access Images ReadMe (PDF). It has important information about how to use these images effectively in regard to accurate color and other concerns.

Short captions embedded within DAC image files carry selected aspects of cataloging information as of the time the digital image was made; for more detailed and/or updated descriptions of many objects, see Davison Art Collection Search.

Version 1.0 of this policy was published and first applied on December 12, 2012. This version 1.1 reflects updated language in notes 7 and 9 regarding the applied scope of Creative Commons licensing. On occasion this page's other text is updated, but any change to the policy will be noted here. “DAC Open Access Images” and “Open Access Images from the Davison Art Collection, Wesleyan University” are synonyms, as are “DAC Open Access Image” and “Open Access Image from the Davison Art Collection, Wesleyan University.” The policy and some language were based in part, with permission, on documents from the National Gallery of Art (U.S.), Yale University, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, three leaders in providing Open Access images from U.S. art museum collections.