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A collection of 180,000 works of art, literature and performance for free

A collection of 180,000 works of art, literature and performance for free
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

One of the greatest things about the Internet is the way it brings the world to you. That includes the Library of Congress, and public libraries around the country, giving you online access to the world's most important books, reference materials and everyday good reads.

It also includes vast collections of artworks, like those at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Without leaving your living room, or getting out of bed, you can now see high-definition, up-close images of some of the most expensive and most important works of art.

In the past, you'd have to have unlimited funds to travel around the world to see, read and use these collections. Or, at least you'd need a New York City MetroCard to get uptown to the city's libraries and museums.

Now, you can simply tap into hundreds of thousands of works at the New York Public Library for free, from wherever you are. You don't even need to live in New York to access these collections.

Just this week, the New York Public library made 180,000 out-of-copyright works available to you on its site. These include manuscripts written by authors, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne ("The Scarlet Letter") and poet Walt Whitman.

There are illuminated manuscripts from the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Plus, in just one click, you can also see photographs by Berenice Abbott, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, Walker Evans and many other photographers.

There are digitized artworks, such as prints by Andy Warhol. Overall, the New York Public Library has a collection of more than 672,000 items in its digital collection (not all are in the public domain).

Next page: NYPL also digitizes live performances
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