Free Coloring Books from 101 World-Class Libraries & Museums: Download and Color Hundreds of Free Images

The free, down­load­able adult col­or­ing books that the New York Acad­e­my of Med­i­cine solic­its from muse­ums and uni­ver­si­ty and state libraries for its #Col­or­Our­Col­lec­tions cel­e­bra­tion each Feb­ru­ary enliv­en our month far more than any Valen­tine or Pres­i­dents Day sale.

They’re not just a great way to while away winter’s last gasp. They’re also a won­der­ful por­tal for dis­cov­er­ing cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions that have thus­far flown beneath our radar, owing to size, geog­ra­phy, and/or field of study.

It’s up to each insti­tu­tion to deter­mine what — and how much — to include.

Some col­or inside the lines by stick­ing to the sub­ject for which they’re best known. Most take more of a mixed bag approach, fling­ing a vari­ety of fas­ci­nat­ing, unre­lat­ed images at the wall and see­ing what sticks.

Some offer­ings are but a sin­gle page. Oth­ers will have you wear­ing your crayons to nubs.

With 101 par­tic­i­pat­ing orga­ni­za­tions, it can be dif­fi­cult to know where to start.

Maybe we can help…

Is med­i­cine your thing?

If so, you’re in luck. By our reck­on­ing, that’s the most pop­u­lar sub­ject, though it spans a broad range, from line draw­ings of flow­er­ing med­i­c­i­nal plants and a repro­duc­tion of a 1998 Amer­i­can Soci­ety of Anes­the­si­ol­o­gists col­or­ing book for pedi­atric patients, to flayed cadav­ers and har­row­ing sur­gi­cal vignettes from cen­turies gone by.

The pages below come com­pli­ments of Stan­ford Med­ical His­to­ry Center’s Lane Library, McGill University’s Osler Library of the His­to­ry of Med­i­cine, and Truhlsen-Mar­mor Muse­um of the Eye, the only free, pub­lic muse­um ded­i­cat­ed to the fas­ci­nat­ing sci­ence of sight.

Is archi­tec­ture more your area of inter­est?

Gless­ner House, West­ern Uni­ver­si­ty, and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Barcelona have plans for you!

Does col­or­ing make your nos­tal­gic for child­hood?

The South Car­oli­na State Library, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­gary, and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin-Mil­wau­kee have you cov­ered with charm­ing illus­tra­tions from Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales and Won­der Sto­ries, Dr. Dolittle’s Cir­cus, and Heroes of the Kale­vala

Do you have only a few min­utes to spare…or a preschool­er in need of sim­pler graph­ics?

We get it, and so do the Uni­ver­sité Toulouse Jean Jau­rès, the Bib­lio­thèque munic­i­pale de Sois­sons, and the Har­vard Art Muse­ums.

It’s always a joy to see who’s behind the year’s freaki­est image.

This year, our vote goes to the Bib­lio­thèque Mazarine, France’s old­est pub­lic library, but feel free to put forth oth­er can­di­dates in the com­ments sec­tion

Begin your explo­rations of 2022’s col­or­ing books here. See how oth­ers have col­ored these pages by explor­ing the hash­tag #Col­or­Our­Col­lec­tions on social media.


2022’s Par­tic­i­pat­ing Insti­tu­tions

New York Acad­e­my of Med­i­cine Library

AIA Nashville Soci­ety & Nashville Parthenon

Amer­i­can Geo­graph­i­cal Soci­ety Library — UW Mil­wau­kee

Bib­liote­ca de la Uni­ver­si­dad de Zaragoza

Bib­lio­thèque interuni­ver­si­taire de San­té — Uni­ver­sité de Paris

Bib­lio­thèque Les Champs Libres

Bib­lio­thèque d’é­tude et de con­ser­va­tion de Besançon

La Bib­lio­thèque Mazarine

Bib­lio­thèque mul­ti­mé­dia inter­com­mu­nale d’Épinal

Bib­lio­thèque munic­i­pale de Sois­sons

Bib­lio­thèque nationale de France

The Burke Library at Union The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary (Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty Libraries)

The Burylin Ivano­vo Muse­um of Local His­to­ry

Cen­tral Children’s Library of Bel­go­rod Dis­trict

Cen­tral­na pravosod­na knjižni­ca — Supreme Court of the Repub­lic of Slove­nia Cen­tral Judi­cial Library

CEP San­ta Cruz de Tener­ife

CollEx études ibériques, Uni­ver­sité Toulouse Jean Jau­rès

Cap­tain Cook Memo­r­i­al Muse­um

CRAI Library at Uni­ver­si­ty of Barcelona

Den­ver Botan­ic Gar­dens

DiMen­na-Nyselius Library, Fair­field Uni­ver­si­ty

Duke Uni­ver­si­ty Med­ical Cen­ter Library & Archives

Eton Col­lege Library


Fair­field Uni­ver­si­ty Art Muse­um

Free Library of Philadel­phia Spe­cial Col­lec­tions Divi­sion

Glad­stone’s Library

Gless­ner House

Harley-David­son Archives

Har­vard Art Muse­ums

Hawaii State Foun­da­tion on Cul­ture and the Arts

Jele­niogórskie Cen­trum Infor­ma­cji i Edukacji Region­al­nej Książni­ca Karkonos­ka

Ken­tucky His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety

Leonard H. Axe Library, Pitts­burg State Uni­ver­si­ty

Libraries and Cul­tur­al Resources, Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­gary

Library of the Czech Acad­e­my of Sci­ences

Library of Vir­ginia

Lithuan­ian Nation­al Muse­um of Art

Maine State Library

Mann Library, Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty

Mass­a­chu­setts Eye and Ear, Abra­ham Pollen Archives

Mass­a­chu­setts Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal Archives & Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

McGill Library (Osler Library of the His­to­ry of Med­i­cine)

Médiathèque Jacques-Chirac, Troyes Cham­pagne Métro­pole

Médiathèque Pierre-Amal­ric

Med­ical Her­itage Library

Memo­ria Chile­na

Miejs­ka Bib­liote­ka Pub­licz­na w Sos­now­cu

Moody Med­ical Library

Muse­um of the Order of St. John

Muse­um Plan­tin-More­tus

Nation­al Library of Med­i­cine (NLM)

Nation­al Muse­um – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithua­nia

New Jer­sey State House

Nor­folk Arts/a>

North Car­oli­na Muse­um of Art

North­ern Illi­nois Uni­ver­si­ty


Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Library

Prov­i­dence Col­lege Archives & Spe­cial Col­lec­tions, Phillips Memo­r­i­al Library

Richard­son-Sloane Spe­cial Col­lec­tions Cen­ter, Dav­en­port Pub­lic Library

Robert C. Williams Muse­um of Paper­mak­ing

Roy­al Col­lege of Physi­cians Lon­don

Roy­al Hor­ti­cul­tur­al Soci­ety Libraries

Rut­gers Uni­ver­si­ty Spe­cial Col­lec­tions and Uni­ver­si­ty Archives

Saint Fran­cis de Sales Parish His­to­ry Archives Col­or­ing Book 2022

Seton Hall Uni­ver­si­ty Libraries

SHSU Spe­cial Col­lec­tions, New­ton Gre­sham Library

Smith­son­ian Libraries and Archives

South Car­oli­na State Library

Stan­ford Med­ical His­to­ry Cen­ter, Lane Library

Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Libraries

State Uni­ver­sal Sci­en­tif­ic Library of Kras­no­yarsk Ter­ri­to­ry

Strat­ford Hall

Sub­carpathi­an Dig­i­tal Library

Swe­den­borg Library of Bryn Athyn Col­lege

Toron­to Pub­lic Library

Trin­i­ty Hall, Cam­bridge

Truhlsen-Mar­mor Muse­um of the Eye

UCC Library, Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege Cork

Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia Library

Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia San Fran­cis­co Archives and Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

Uni­ver­si­ty of Day­ton Libraries

Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois Chica­go Spe­cial Col­lec­tions and Uni­ver­si­ty Archives

Uni­ver­si­ty of Kansas Libraries

Uni­ver­si­ty Library at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois Urbana-Cham­paign

Uni­ver­si­ty of Mass­a­chu­setts Amherst Libraries

Uni­ver­si­ty of Neva­da, Reno Depart­ment of Spe­cial Col­lec­tions and Uni­ver­si­ty Archives

Uni­ver­sité de Per­pig­nan Via Domi­tia

Uni­ver­si­ty of South Flori­da Libraries

Uni­ver­si­ty of Water­loo Spe­cial Col­lec­tions & Archives

Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin-Mil­wau­kee Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

U.S. Depart­ment of the Inte­ri­or Muse­um

Vil­la Bernasconi

Wash­ing­ton State Library

West­ern Uni­ver­si­ty Archives and Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

West Vir­ginia & Region­al His­to­ry Cen­ter

William L. Clements Library

Women and Lead­er­ship Archives, Loy­ola Uni­ver­si­ty Chica­go

Wood Library-Muse­um of Anes­the­si­ol­o­gy

Yaroslavl Region­al Uni­ver­sal Sci­en­tif­ic Library named after N. A. Nekrasov

- Ayun Hal­l­i­day is the Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine and author, most recent­ly, of Cre­ative, Not Famous: The Small Pota­to Man­i­festo.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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