Open Textbook Library: Arts
About: Organized by the Open Education Network, based in the Center for Open Education at the
University of Minnesota. Art history resources are interspersed with other arts content in the arts section,
and include titles like American Encounters (2018), The Bright Continent: African Art History (2018), and
Guide to Byzantine Art (2021), to name a few. Utilized Creative Commons licenses, as most OER do.
Note: American Encounters is also available to download from Washington University in Saint Louis.
Websites & Digital Collections
American Craft Council Library & Archives Digital Collections
About: Specific to American craft, the digital collections feature “thousands of unique images,
documents, and media...detail[ing] the history of contemporary craft in America.” Of particular interest
might be the Craft Horizons / American Craft magazine, among other resources.
Art History Teaching Resources
About: “Art History Teaching Resources is a peer-populated platform for art history teachers. AHTR is
home to a constantly evolving and collectively authored online repository of art history teaching content
including, but not limited to, lesson plans, video introductions to museums, book reviews, image clusters,
and classroom and museum activities.” Funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the CUNY
The Canadian Online Art Book Project
About: Founded in 2013, this digital library focuses on original books commissioned by the Art Canada
Institute. Artists featured include Walter S. Allward, Molly Lamb Bobak, and Shuvinai Ashoona, to name a
About: An Open Educational Resources (OER) platform for Digital Arts and Humanities educators and
students. Content on dariahTeach is designed to be asynchronously accessed by both lone learners,
especially those who do not have access to digital arts and humanities teaching and training, as well as
educators who can embed content into their own course offerings.
The Met: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
About: Contains essays, images of works of art, and chronologies pertinent to the global history of art.
Essays included credit their author and specify their affiliation(s); however, most essays are written by
curatorial staff at The Met.
Open Art Histories (OAH)
About: “...a platform for art, art history, visual art, communication and museum studies teachers and
instructors in Canada.” Though its content is Canadian in focus, may still be of interest, as it does contain
OER and is a virtual community and repository for art and art history instructors.
About: Created by a collaborative group of more than five hundred art historians, curators,
archaeologists, and artists, SmARThistory looks to make art history less colonial and more equitable, and
all content on the site has undergone an open peer-review process – plus every essay links to its author
and their credentials. They do have a textbook that’s recently been released as an OER, though there are
mixed reviews from fellow art library professionals and art historians – main detractors state that it is still
a work in progress, and not quite ready for the classroom.
Open Educational Resources (OERs) provide access to instructional content at zero cost. OERs are resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their FREE USE AND REPURPOSING BY OTHERS.
Consider using OERs instead of asking students to buy costly books and/or course readers. You can also use OERs to develop your own course activities and assignments.
Consider Virtual Textbooks
Library Databases & Research Guides on OER
Concordia University Library: OER by Discipline Research Guide, Art History
About: Contains open textbooks from a variety of sources on a variety of topics in art history.
Hunter College Libraries OER Guide: Art & Art History Section
About: Includes textbooks, collections, journals, and courseware.
Los Angeles Valley College OER Guide: Art History Section
About: This guide has a range of OER listed, broken down by subject matter. Click on “Art History” for art
historical texts, made available through a variety of sources.
Pima Community College: Open Educational Resources Subject Guide for Art & Art History
About: Click on “Find OER by Subject,” and select Art & Art History for specific resources if the link
doesn’t redirect you there. Includes course materials, textbooks, images & videos, and open courses on
art & art history topics.
Pratt Institute Libraries A-Z Database List of Open-Access Databases
About: This content includes databases from across scholarly disciplines, including art history, that are
open access. It includes the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA), Documents of Latin American and
Latino Art, and the Met Museum of Art Publications, among others.
Ringling College Online OER Guide
About: Includes links to a variety of OER, including resources from the Met, Khan Academy, and edX, to
name a few.
University of New Mexico University Libraries OER Primer
About: Not specific to just art history, but contains a list of OER repositories, textbook providers, courses,
multimedia, and open museum collections that would all have valuable content to offer. Suggested sites
from the list include MERLOT, California Open Library for Education, Humanities Commons, OER
Commons, Libre Texts, and the Open Textbooks Library.