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Textbook Collections

The following sites contain open textbooks in a variety of subject areas, but the links below will take you directly to the textbooks about art. This is by no means an exhaustive list!

Fine Arts (College Open Textbooks) 

College Open Textbooks (COT) focuses on textbooks for lower division classes. COT is not a repository in itself; their listings point to textbooks in other repositories.

Full Courses

Art Appreciation 

Lumen Learning offers open courses in a variety of high-demand subjects and disciplines. These courses are collections of high-quality OER, not necessarily as a traditional textbook.  You can use them as-is or modify them to fit your instructional style and students’ needs.

Fine Arts (MIT Open Courseware) 

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.

Art History Courses (Saylor Academy) 

Saylor Academy contains full courses, including syllabi, readings, quizzes, and more.

Open Course Library 

The Open Course Library (OCL) is a collection of shareable course materials, including syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments designed by teams of college faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and other experts. Some of their materials are paired with low cost textbooks ($30 or less). Many of the courses can be taught at no cost to students.

Multiple Types of Resources

History & the Arts (Open Learn) 

Open Learn is an initiative of The Open University, UK. It provides supplemental materials for educators, including articles, podcasts, videos, games, and much more. In addition, it offers more than 700 free online classes.

Arts (MERLOT) 

MERLOT is a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community. The MERLOT Collection is made up of over 40,000 materials in 19 different material type categories.

SmARThistory 

SmARThistory is an online resource provided by Khan Academy, the product of collaboration by Art Historians worldwide. It is a high-quality, introductory Art History source freely available to the public, and currently offers countless photos and more than 500 videos on a variety of topics, along with the text itself.

The Met Curriculum Resources 

Introduce your students to the richness and diversity of works of art in selected collections of the Museum. These comprehensive and fully illustrated guides provide useful background information and ideas for engaging students.

Europeana 

Europeana.eu is the EU digital platform for cultural heritage. More than 3,000 institutions across Europe have contributed to Europeana. These range from major international names like the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the British Library and the Louvre to regional archives and local museums from every member of the European Union. Together, their assembled collections let users explore Europe's cultural and scientific heritage from prehistory to the modern day.

World Digital Library 

The WDL makes it possible to discover, study, and enjoy cultural treasures and significant historical documents on one site, in a variety of ways. Content on the WDL includes books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, journals, prints and photographs, sound recordings, and films.

OER Commons 

OER Commons helps educators, students, and lifelong learners avoid time-consuming searches and find exactly the right materials. With a single point of access from which they can search, browse, and evaluate resources in OER Commons’ growing collection of over 50,000 high-quality OER everyone can more efficiently find what they need.

Mason OER Metafinder 

Searches 15 OER repositories simultaneously.

 

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