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, like the print by Andy Warhol above. 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).
These digitized collections are available for research or just fun, according to the library. In a statement, it wrote that it's "intended to facilitate sharing, research and reuse by scholars, artists, educators, technologists, publishers and Internet users of all kinds."
The New York Public Library has been opening its vast digital collection, for free, to users like you for quite some time. On its site of digitized content, you can print out high-quality images, or use its visualization tools to zoom in on fine details.
There's more than artwork and manuscripts, too. You can watch videos, like New York City Ballet's production of "Symphony in C." (Similar to the video below.)
In the future, the New York Public Library will make more of its digitized collection available to the public. Which makes the Internet an even richer experience for everyone.