Getty Launches Online Art History Research Library

Posted June 1st, 2012

Art History, Books, Reference

The Getty Research Portal, which officially launched Thursday, was developed by the Getty Research Institute, the Getty museum’s more academic sibling. But it’s meant to be accessible to anyone with an Internet connection — scholar, student or just browser — like an art-specific version of Google Books.

The Los Angeles Times: “In this case, though, instead of embarking on a mission to digitize the printed world, the Getty is making use of digitized material already available. So far, the website links to about 20,000 titles, drawn from the GRI’s own holdings as well as from the libraries of eight institutions.

So far, Columbia University, the Frick Collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Art Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Institute of the History of Art (INHA) in Paris, the University of Malaga in Spain and Heidelberg University in Germany have contributed. In all cases, the full digital texts of the books can be downloaded free of charge.

Because the texts are all in the public domain, published before 1923 in the U.S. or before 1909 in other countries, the website is stronger on Old Masters than, say, French Impressionism. A simple search for “Renoir” yields only five results; “Rembrandt” 51.”