Online Collections

 The Dort Packet-Boat from Rotterdam Becalmed, 1818, oil on canvas, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

The Center is committed to using technology to advance the study of its collections by allowing unrestricted access to its entire holdings online to as broad a public as possible.

A Commitment to Open Access

Scholarship and education are just two of the many endeavors supported by the collections at the Center. Alongside these, the Center also affirms its fundamental commitment to artistic creativity, not only through the nature of its collections, but through access to its resources. This includes the images of works in its collection that are in the public domain and the descriptive information which accompanies them. Wherever possible, the Center aims to make these resources available in as unimpeded a manner as it can administer for as broad a public as it can reach. While respectful of its responsibility to manage intellectual property still protected under copyright, and mindful of commercial exploitation, the Center nevertheless provides free and open access to images of works in the public domain and certain other materials. The Center hopes to encourage further the use and reuse of its public domain resources by all who may have access to them. See Using Images for further information.


This site is designed to be compatible with most standard browsers including Firefox (3.6 and above), Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera. Please note that Internet Explorer is no longer supported. The Center’s online collection makes use of both JavaScript and cookies. To experience optimal performance and functionality when searching the collections, please enable both cookies and JavaScript in your browser. For more information on how JavaScript and cookies are used at Yale, please see Yale’s Privacy Policy.

Online Collections Database

The purpose of the database is to provide a comprehensive view of the Center’s collections, with the ability to search across those collections using a single search mechanism.


The constantly growing database will eventually make all of the Center’s holdings available online.

Current Progress

Paintings: 100% available
Sculpture: 100% available
Drawings: 100% available
Prints: 100% available
Rare Books & Manuscripts: 75% available
Reference Library: 100% available
Archives: 0% available
Frames: 99% available

Information Provided

Every object in the database is published with a base level of key information presented in records that can be easily exported in formats such as XML, RDF, and MARC. The records are being continually enhanced and expanded to provide more detailed information about the Center’s collections, including provenance, bibliography, exhibition history, conservation information, and similar data.


Every effort is made to include at least one image with each record from the art collections. For works in the public domain, images may be downloaded free of charge. With print publication in mind, downloads are offered in TIFF format in three different sizes appropriate for quarter-page, half-page, and full-page reproduction. Where the Center has multiple images for an object, these are also made available for consultation and download, including conservation images.  Visit Using Images for more information.


While every effort is made to ensure that the records are as accurate as possible, we welcome corrections, comments, and suggestions. If you notice a mistake, or have information to offer, please contact us.