Spotlight on the Public Domain
#nyplremix: Get Creative With the Public Domain
Now that you have access to thousands of high-resolution public domain images from The New York Public Library... what are you going to do with them?
We want to know! Tag your creations with #nyplremix so we can see them.
Stuck in a creative rut? Got a case of artist's block? Not sure where to begin? Here are some digital and analog crafting resources, along with collection highlights that we hope will get the inspiration flowing.
How to Download
While browsing and searching Digital Collections, click on the "Only Public Domain" checkbox under the search box or on the left-hand side of the screen. If you are looking at a collection view, you can click the "Filter" tab at the top of the collection description to see the button.
These are images that have no known copyright restrictions!
Once you have found an image you want to use, you will see download options in green on the right side underneath the image. Click on the drop down arrow for the highest resolution images.
What to Make
- Get printing and image transfer tips from the Graphics Fairy
- Check out books on collage and mixed media
- Use an iPad as lightbox for paper tracing (video)
- Check out books on origami and Kusudama shapes
- Make your own card or board games
- Make your own gift wrap or tags
- Grab your colored pencils and color in (or outside) the lines
- More on sketching and doodling with our collections
- Enlarge handwritten fragments slightly and embroider them
- Design a fabric pattern (Spoonflower, Inkjet fabric sheets, or DIY using freezer paper)
- Sunprints - print any image in black/white on mylar sheet, and place over sunprint paper or fabric
- Decoupage images onto bowls, frames, boxes, furniture, or cards
- Check out books on making resin jewelry
- Print and wrap pencil or votive holders
- Send a new-old postcard
- Decorate with paper flowers
- Make coasters for your apartment with apartment floor plans
- Construct a large scale mural with Instructables
- Frame a map of your neighborhood, or glue one to a corkboard so that you can place pins in the places you've traveled
- Install background wallpaper for your desktop computer (Mac, PC) or mobile device (Android, iPhone)
- Make your own font with some interesting type
- Make an animated GIF and get ready for next year’s DPLA GIF-IT-UP Contest
- Trace an image on an iPad
- Watch “Making a Collage” from Up and Running with Photoshop CS6 and access hundreds of other tutorials on Lynda.com with your library card and PIN
Bibliocraft: A Modern Crafter's Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects by Jessica Pigza; photographs by Johnny Miller; photostyling by Shana Faust; illustrations by Sun Young Park. The original guide to using library collections in your crafts. Step by step guides as well as general advice for the aspiring bibliocrafter!
The Artist's Library: A Field Guide from the Library as Incubator Project by Laura Damon-Moore and Erinn Batykefer. Features inspirational prompts for your artistic practice as well as stories from artists themselves on how library collections have influenced their work.
Collections and Items of Interest
- Dress & Fashion: Design & Manufacture
- William Blake: Illuminated Books
- Magic Scrapbooks
- Zoology of New York
- Illustrations of Indian zoology
- Bookbinding: books bequeathed by William Augustus Spencer
- Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis et des rolliers
- Buttolph Collection of Menus
- Industrial arts of the nineteenth century
- Photographs of British algae: cyanotype impressions
- Nouveaux livre d'ornments, pour l'utillitée des sculpteurs, et orfeures
- Traité des arbres et arbustes que l'on cultive en France en pleine terre
- "Classic Six:" New York City Apartment Building Living, 1880s-1910s
- Detroit Publishing Company Postcards
- To make small beer
- Marbled endpapers and doublure (decorative bindings)
Many thanks to Jessica Pigza for her help with this post!
Have you been inspired by or created new works by re-using items in NYPL’s Digital Collections? We would love to hear about your work! Please share it with us using #nyplremix or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.