The Getty began opening up its vast trove of art to the public just two months ago, and today it's doubling the size of that freely available collection, bringing its total above 10,000 pieces. The earlier works included paintings from Monet and van Gogh, while today's pieces all come from the Getty Research Institute’s Special Collections, which features rare works pertaining to art history. All of the pieces are available to view in high-resolution at Getty's website, and like before, they can often be reprinted elsewhere so long as they're attributed to the proper owner.

Getty says that opening up this new content will be quite meaningful for art historians, who often don't have access to important documents that they need for their studies. The institute promises that more pieces are coming soon too, all of which it says will be "critical" to studying art. "Instead of looking at ourselves primarily as the owners of the objects under our safekeeping, we are conceiving of ourselves as stewards," Andrew Perchuk, deputy director of the Getty Research Institute, writes in a blog post. Though it's by no means the first museum to take this stance, it's another big step toward opening up information online.

Image credit:

Quatrieme chambre des apartemens in Appartements de Versailles, 1694–98, Antoine Trouvain, printmaker. Engraving and etching, 45.5 x 60.5 cm. The Getty Research Institute, 2011.PR.20