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

Euro­peana

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

Nume­lyo

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.

A Free Shakespeare Coloring Book: While Away the Hours Coloring in Illustrations of 35 Classic Plays

From the peo­ple who brought you the Vic­to­ri­an Illus­trat­ed Shake­speare Archive comes an Illus­trat­ed Shake­speare Col­or­ing Book–a col­or­ing book fea­tur­ing illus­tra­tions of 35 dif­fer­ent Shake­speare plays. (All illus­tra­tions come from a nine­teenth edi­tion of The Plays of William Shake­speare.) The col­or­ing book’s cre­ator, Michael Good­man, tell us: “It’s obvi­ous­ly free to use and I hope in these days of home school­ing par­ents might find it a sim­ple way to engage their kids with Shake­speare.” Access the col­or­ing book here.

You can find more free col­or­ing books in the Relat­eds below.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Down­load Free Col­or­ing Books from 113 Muse­ums

Free Col­or­ing Books from World-Class Libraries & Muse­ums: The New York Pub­lic Library, Bodleian, Smith­son­ian & More

The Dune Col­or­ing & Activ­i­ty Books: When David Lynch’s 1984 Film Cre­at­ed Count­less Hours of Pecu­liar Fun for Kids

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

Down­load 150 Free Col­or­ing Books from Great Libraries, Muse­ums & Cul­tur­al Insti­tu­tions: The British Library, Smith­son­ian, Carnegie Hall & More

While Away the Hours with a Free H.P. Love­craft Call of Cthul­hu Col­or­ing Book

While Away the Hours with a Free H.P. Lovecraft Call of Cthulhu Coloring Book

Unlike his devo­tee Stephen King, whose nov­els and sto­ries have spawned more Love­craft­ian film and tele­vi­sion projects than any writer in the genre, H.P. Love­craft him­self has lit­tle cin­e­ma cred­it to his name. Giv­en the abject ter­ror evoked by Cthul­hu and oth­er ter­ri­fy­ing “pri­mal Great Ones”—as the author called his mon­sters in the sto­ry of the octo­pus-head­ed god—we might expect it to be oth­er­wise.

But Love­craft was not a cin­e­mat­ic writer, nor a fan of any such mod­ern sto­ry­telling devices. He pre­ferred the Vic­to­ri­an mode of indi­rect nar­ra­tion, his prose full of hearsay, reportage, bib­li­og­ra­phy, and lengthy descrip­tion of expe­ri­ences once or twice removed from the teller of the tale.

These qual­i­ties (and his extreme racism) make him a poor choice for the plot-dri­ven medi­um of fea­ture film. Lovecraft’s expan­sive imag­i­na­tion, like his buried, dream­ing mon­sters, was sub­ter­ranean and sub­ma­rine, reveal­ing only the barest glimpse of night­mares we are grate­ful nev­er to see ful­ly revealed.

The end­less­ly sug­ges­tive psy­cho­log­i­cal ter­ror of Love­craft has instead become the source of an extend­ed uni­verse that includes fan fiction—written by pro­fes­sion­als and ama­teurs alike—fantasy art, com­ic books, and RPGs (role-play­ing games) like the Call of Cthul­hu series made by Chao­sium, Inc. for over 35 years: “the fore­most game of mys­tery and hor­ror,” the com­pa­ny touts. “For those brave enough to uncov­er its secrets, the rewards are beyond com­pre­hen­sion!” If this sounds just like the thing to pass the time dur­ing these days of social dis­tanc­ing, look over all of the Chao­sium Cthul­hu offer­ings here.

For those who pre­fer Love­craft­ian immer­sions of a more soli­tary, med­i­ta­tive nature, allow us to present Call of Cthul­hu: The Col­or­ing Book, the first of many “fun and engag­ing diver­sions,” the com­pa­ny promis­es “we can enjoy while stay­ing in, work­ing-from-home, in quar­an­tine, or in self-iso­la­tion….. While away the hours in lock­down col­or­ing an amaz­ing array of scenes, with strik­ing images from H.P. Lovecraft’s stories—and the Call of Cthul­hu RPG his imag­i­na­tion inspired (Hor­ror on the Ori­ent Express, Masks of Nyarlathotep, The Fun­gi from Yug­goth and more).”

While these many Love­craft spin-offs may be unfa­mil­iar, hints of their har­row­ing scenes always lay in the murky depths of Lovecraft’s fic­tion. See how award-win­ning artist Andrey Feti­sov has imag­ined these encoun­ters with ancient ter­rors. Then col­or his Moe­bius-like draw­ings in, and enter your work in a Call of Cthul­hu col­or­ing com­pe­ti­tion by shar­ing it with the hash­tag #home­with­chao­sium. There will be prizes, sure to be sur­pris­es, though we hope the ruth­less Elder Gods don’t have a hand in choos­ing them. Down­load all 28 eldritch scenes here.

via Boing Boing

Relat­ed Con­tent:  

H.P. Lovecraft’s Clas­sic Hor­ror Sto­ries Free Online: Down­load Audio Books, eBooks & More

An Ani­mat­ed Intro­duc­tion to H.P. Love­craft and How He Invent­ed a New Goth­ic Hor­ror

H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthul­hu in Ani­me: A First Glimpse

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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

There are many roads to well­ness. Med­i­ta­tion, yoga, exer­cise, and healthy diet are all effec­tive ther­a­pies for bring­ing down stress lev­els. But we shouldn’t dis­count an activ­i­ty we once used to while hours away as chil­dren, and that adults by the mil­lions have tak­en to in recent years. Col­or­ing takes us out of our­selves, say experts like Doc­tor of Psy­chi­a­try Scott M. Bea, “it’s very much like a med­i­ta­tive exer­cise.” It relax­es our brain by focus­ing our atten­tion and push­ing dis­tract­ing and dis­turb­ing thoughts to the mar­gins. The low stakes make the activ­i­ty easy and plea­sur­able, qual­i­ties grown-ups don’t get to ascribe to most of what they spend their time doing.

Reduc­ing anx­i­ety is all well and good, but some art and his­to­ry lovers can’t accept just any old mass-mar­ket col­or­ing book. Luck­i­ly, a con­sor­tium of over a hun­dred muse­ums and libraries has giv­en these spe­cial cus­tomers a rea­son to stick with it. Since 2016, the annu­al #Col­or­Our­Col­lec­tions cam­paign, led by the New York Acad­e­my of Med­i­cine (NYAM), has made avail­able, for free, adult col­or­ing books. The range of images offers some­thing for every­one, from ear­ly mod­ern illus­tra­tions like the cat at the top, from Edward Topsell’s His­to­rie of Foure-Foot­ed Beast­es (1607)—courtesy of Trin­i­ty Hall Cam­bridge; to the poignant cov­er of The Suf­frag­ist, below, from July 1919, a month after U.S. women won the right to the vote (from the Hunt­ing­ton Library, Art Muse­um, and Botan­i­cal Gar­dens).

There are, unsur­pris­ing­ly, copi­ous illus­tra­tions of med­ical pro­ce­dures and anato­my, like that below from the Library at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Barcelona. There are vin­tage adver­tise­ments, “canoe-heavy con­tent” from a Cana­di­an muse­um, as Kather­ine Wu reports at Smith­son­ian, and war posters like that fur­ther down of Admi­ral Chester Nimitz ask­ing for “the stuff” to hit “the spot,” i.e. Tokyo –from the Pritzk­er Mil­i­tary Muse­um. “The only com­mon­al­i­ty shared by the thou­sands of prints and draw­ings avail­able on the NYAM web­site is their black-and-white appear­ance: The pages oth­er­wise span just about every taste and illus­tra­tive predilec­tion a col­or­ing con­nois­seur could con­jure.”

One Twit­ter fan point­ed out that the ini­tia­tive pro­vides “a great way to get to know some of the col­lec­tions held in libraries around the world.” Their enthu­si­asm is catch­ing. But note that few of the insti­tu­tions (see full col­lec­tion here) have uploaded a large quan­ti­ty of col­orable images. Most of the “col­or­ing books” con­sist of only a hand­ful of pages, some only one or two. Tak­en alto­geth­er, how­ev­er, the com­bined strength of one hun­dred insti­tu­tions, over four years (see pre­vi­ous years at the links below), adds up to many hun­dreds of pages of col­or­ing fun and relax­ation. If that’s your thing, start here. If you don’t know if it’s your thing, #Col­or­Our­Col­lec­tions is a free (minus the cost of print­er ink and paper), edu­ca­tion­al way to find out. Grab those crayons, oil pas­tels, col­ored pen­cils, etc. and calm down again the way you did when you were six years old.

Relat­ed Con­tent:  

Free Col­or­ing Books from World-Class Libraries & Muse­ums: The New York Pub­lic Library, Bodleian, Smith­son­ian & More

Free Col­or­ing Books from World-Class Libraries & Muse­ums: The Met, New York Pub­lic Library, Smith­son­ian & More

Down­load 150 Free Col­or­ing Books from Great Libraries, Muse­ums & Cul­tur­al Insti­tu­tions: The British Library, Smith­son­ian, Carnegie Hall & More

Down­load Free Col­or­ing Books from 113 Muse­ums

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

Download Free Coloring Books from 113 Museums

One can only col­or so many flo­ral-trimmed affir­ma­tions before one begins to crave some­thing slight­ly more per­verse. An ema­ci­at­ed, naked, anthro­po­mor­phized man­drake root, say or…

Thy wish is our com­mand, but be pre­pared to hus­tle, because today is the final day of Col­or Our Col­lec­tions, a com­pelling­ly demo­c­ra­t­ic ini­tia­tive on the part of the New York Acad­e­my of Med­i­cine.

Since 2016, the Acad­e­my has made an annu­al prac­tice of invit­ing oth­er libraries, archives, and cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions around the world to upload PDF col­or­ing pages based on their col­lec­tions for the pub­lic’s free down­load.

This year 113 insti­tu­tions took the bait.

Our host, the New York Acad­e­my of Med­i­cine kicks things off with the afore­men­tioned man­drakes, and then some.

Med­ical sub­jects are a pop­u­lar theme here. You’ll find plen­ty of organs and oth­er rel­e­vant details to col­or, com­pli­ments of Boston’s Count­way Library’s Cen­ter for the His­to­ry of Med­i­cineLondon’s Roy­al Col­lege of Physi­cians, and the His­tor­i­cal Med­ical Library of The Col­lege of Physi­cians of Philadel­phia (aka the Müt­ter Muse­um).

The col­or­ing book of the Richard­son-Sloane Spe­cial Col­lec­tions Cen­ter at the Dav­en­port Pub­lic Library is a bit more all-ages. They cer­tain­ly remind me of my child­hood. The work of native son, Patrick J. Costel­lo, above, fig­ures heav­i­ly here. Either he deserves a lot of cred­it for devel­op­ing the School House Rock aes­thet­ic, or he was one of a num­ber of hard work­ing illus­tra­tors tap­ping into the cartoon‑y, thick-nibbed zeit­geist

The Andover-Har­vard The­o­log­i­cal Library’s col­or­ing book has some divine options for those who would use their col­or­ing pages as DIY 16th-cen­tu­ry book­plates or alpha­bet primers.

Those who need some­thing more com­plex will appre­ci­ate the intri­cate maps of the Lithuan­ian Art Museum’s col­or­ing book. Col­or­ing Franz Hogenberg’s 1581 map of Vil­nius is the emo­tion­al equiv­a­lent of walk­ing the labyrinth for god knows how many hours.

As befits a con­tent web­site-cum-dig­i­tal-Nation­al-Library, the Memo­ria Chile­na Col­or­ing Book 2019 has some­thing for every taste: flayed anatom­i­cal stud­ies, 1940’s fash­ions, curi­ous kit­ty cats, and a heap­ing help­ing of jesters.

Check out all your options here.

Once you’ve had your way with the Cray­olas, please share your cre­ations with the world, using the hash­tag #Col­or­Our­Col­lec­tions.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing Insti­tu­tions 2019

The New York Acad­e­my of Med­i­cine Library

Roy­al Col­lege of Physi­cians, Lon­don

OHSU His­tor­i­cal Col­lec­tions & Archives

Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin-Mil­wau­kee Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

Swarth­more Col­lege Libraries

South Car­oli­na State Library

Shenan­doah Coun­ty Library, Truban Archives

Bib­liote­ca de la Uni­ver­si­dad de Zaragoza

Christ’s Col­lege Library, Cam­bridge

Tow­er Hill Botan­ic Gar­den

Uni­ver­si­ty of Water­loo Spe­cial Col­lec­tions & Archives

Wagenin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty & Research

Brunel Uni­ver­si­ty Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

Hawaii State Foun­da­tion on Cul­ture and the Arts

Wash­ing­ton State Library

Saint Fran­cis de Sales Parish Unit­ed by the Most Blessed Sacra­ment Parish His­to­ry Archives

Get­ty Research Insti­tute

Auck­land Muse­um

Loy­ola Uni­ver­si­ty Chica­go Archives & Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

Seton Hall Uni­ver­si­ty Libraries

Bib­lio­theque interuni­ver­si­taire de Sante, Paris

Dig­i­tal Library at Vil­lano­va Uni­ver­si­ty

West Vir­ginia and Region­al His­to­ry Cen­ter

Bass Library, Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Library

Uni­ver­si­ty of Kansas Libraries

Med­ical Her­itage Library

The Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty Health Sci­ences Library

Uni­ver­si­ty of Mass­a­chu­setts Amherst Libraries

Rut­gers Uni­ver­si­ty Spe­cial Col­lec­tions and Uni­ver­si­ty Archives

Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia Library

Nation­al Library of Med­i­cine

Sci­ence His­to­ry Insti­tute

Rick­er Library of Archi­tec­ture and Art at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois

Chau­tauqua Insti­tu­tion Archives

Bib­lio­theque et Archives nationales du Que­bec

The LuEs­ther T. Mertz Library of the New York Botan­i­cal Gar­den

Auburn Uni­ver­si­ty Spe­cial Col­lec­tions and Archives

Open Muse­um, Acad­e­mia Sini­ca Cen­ter for Dig­i­tal Cul­tures

Les Champs Libres

Lithuan­ian Art Muse­um

Memo­ria Chile­na

Bar­ret Library, Rhodes Col­lege

Wales High­er Edu­ca­tion Libraries Forum (WHELF)

Roy­al Anthro­po­log­i­cal Insti­tute

Delaware Muse­um of Nat­ur­al His­to­ry

James Madi­son Uni­ver­si­ty Libraries

Utah State Uni­ver­si­ty Libraries Spe­cial Col­lec­tions & Archives

Stevens Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy / Archives & Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

War­ing His­tor­i­cal Library of the Med­ical Uni­ver­si­ty of South Car­oli­na

Bernard Beck­er Med­ical Library at Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty in St. Louis

Uni­ver­si­ty of Puget Sound

Drex­el Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege of Med­i­cine Lega­cy Cen­ter Archives and Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

Queens’ Col­lege Library, Cam­bridge

Stadt­bib­lio­thek Koeln

Andover-Har­vard The­o­log­i­cal Library

Rare Book and Man­u­script CRAI Library at Uni­ver­si­ty of Barcelona

New­ber­ry Library

His­tor­i­cal Med­ical Library of The Col­lege of Physi­cians of Philadel­phia

Lam­beth Palace Library

Fol­ger Shake­speare Library

Uni­ver­si­ty of Glas­gow Archives and Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

John J. Burns Library

Bio­di­ver­si­ty Her­itage Library

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Iowa Libraries, Iowa Dig­i­tal Library

Ten­nessee State Muse­um

Cen­ter for the His­to­ry of Med­i­cine, Count­way LIbrary

Russ­ian State Library

South Car­oli­na His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety

Library Com­pa­ny of Philadel­phia

The Burke Library at Union The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary

Pratt Insti­tute Archives

The Chil­dren’s Muse­um of Indi­anapo­lis

Wan­gen­steen His­tor­i­cal Library of Biol­o­gy and Med­i­cine, Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta Libraries

Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Libraries Julian Edi­son Depart­ment of Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

Libraries and Cul­tur­al Resources, Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­gary

Leonard H. Axe Library, Pitts­burg State Uni­ver­si­ty

Susque­han­na Uni­ver­si­ty, Blough-Weis Library

Richard­son-Sloane Spe­cial Col­lec­tions Cen­ter, Dav­en­port Pub­lic Library

Den­ver Pub­lic Library, West­ern His­to­ry and Geneal­o­gy

Find­lay-Han­cock Coun­ty Pub­lic Library

North­ern Illi­nois Uni­ver­si­ty

Escuela Supe­ri­or de Artes de Yucatan

Lake Coun­ty Pub­lic Library

Unit­ed Nations Library Gene­va

Jele­niorskie Cen­trum Infor­ma­cji i Edukacji Region­al­nej Ksi­azni­ca Karkonos­ka

Women and Lead­er­ship Archives, Loy­ola Uni­ver­si­ty Chica­go

Grand Portage Nation­al Mon­u­ment Archives Col­lec­tion

Jagiel­lon­ian Library

Botan­i­cal Research Insti­tute of Texas

Uni­ver­si­ty of North Texas Libraries

Lehigh Uni­ver­si­ty Libraries Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

Rare Book and Man­u­script Library at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois at Urbana-Cham­paign

Mass­a­chu­setts Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal Archives & Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

Clark Spe­cial Col­lec­tions, McDer­mott Library, USAFA

Bib­lio­theque nationale de France

Cen­tre for Chi­nese Con­tem­po­rary Art Archive & Library

Shangri La Muse­um of Islam­ic Art, Cul­ture & Design

British Library

West­ern Uni­ver­si­ty Archives and Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

Euro­peana

Den­ver Botan­ic Gar­dens

Med­Chi, The Mary­land State Med­ical Soci­ety

Grin­nell Col­lege Libraries

Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land, Bal­ti­more Coun­ty (UMBC)

His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety of Penn­syl­va­nia

Nation­al Library of Rus­sia

East­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty Spe­cial Col­lec­tions & Archives

Nume­lyo

Louisiana State Uni­ver­si­ty Spe­cial Col­lec­tions

New York State Library

North Car­oli­na Pot­tery Cen­ter

Roy­al Hor­ti­cul­tur­al Soci­ety Libraries

Library of Vir­ginia

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  See her onstage in New York City this Mon­day as host of  The­ater of the Apes book-based vari­ety show, Necro­mancers of the Pub­lic Domain. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

Download 150 Free Coloring Books from Great Libraries, Museums & Cultural Institutions: The British Library, Smithsonian, Carnegie Hall & More

coloring book 1

A news alert for fans of col­or­ing books.

You can now take part in the 2018 edi­tion of #Col­or­Our­Col­lec­tions–a cam­paign where muse­ums, libraries and oth­er cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions make avail­able free col­or­ing books, let­ting you col­or art­work from their col­lec­tions and then share it on Twit­ter and oth­er social media plat­forms. When shar­ing, use the hash­tag #Col­or­Our­Col­lec­tions.

Below you can find a col­lec­tion of 20 free col­or­ing books, which you can down­load, print, and col­or until you can col­or no more. Also find a com­plete list of 150 col­or­ing books over at this site main­tained by The New York Acad­e­my of Med­i­cine Library.

To see the free col­or­ing books offered up in 2016, click here. And 2017, here.

The image up top comes from The British Library.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The First Adult Col­or­ing Book: See the Sub­ver­sive Exec­u­tive Col­or­ing Book From 1961

Down­load 15,000+ Free Gold­en Age Comics from the Dig­i­tal Com­ic Muse­um

Read Mar­tin Luther King and The Mont­gomery Sto­ry: The Influ­en­tial 1957 Civ­il Rights Com­ic Book

Dr. Seuss Draws Anti-Japan­ese Car­toons Dur­ing WWII, Then Atones with Hor­ton Hears a Who!

The Dune Coloring & Activity Books: When David Lynch’s 1984 Film Created Countless Hours of Peculiar Fun for Kids

David Lynch’s Dune, the $40 mil­lion cin­e­mat­ic spec­ta­cle based on Frank Her­bert’s sci­ence-fic­tion epic, faced more than its fair share of chal­lenges: Lynch’s lack of artis­tic con­trol, elab­o­rate but not quite suc­cess­ful spe­cial effects, source mate­r­i­al so unsuit­ed to fea­ture-film adap­ta­tion that audi­ences had to read glos­saries before the first screen­ings. In an attempt to get ahead of bad buzz, the mas­sive adver­tis­ing and mer­chan­dis­ing blitz had begun well before the movie’s Christ­mas 1984 release, but none of its flaks seemed to under­stand the enter­prise of Dune any bet­ter than most of those view­ers did.

Case in point: the Dune col­or­ing and activ­i­ty books, evi­dence that, as Comics Alliance’s Jason Miche­litch writes, “what Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures want­ed was a Star Wars of their very own — a whiz-bang space adven­ture for eight-year-olds that they could mer­chan­dise the heck out of to the wide-eyed kids that just a year pre­vi­ous had whee­dled their par­ents into buy­ing plush ewok dolls and toy lightsabers. Instead, Lynch and pro­duc­er Dino De Lau­ren­tis pro­vid­ed them with a dark epic actu­al­ly fit for con­sump­tion by think­ing adults. Imag­ine their cha­grin.”

Mered­ith Yanos at Coil­house offers a more detailed write­up of the hours of fun on offer in these tonal­ly bizarre books: “First, there’s the Dune Col­or­ing Book, 44 pages of lurid scenes fea­tur­ing con­spir­a­to­r­i­al char­ac­ters from the film. Then there’s the Dune Activ­i­ty Book. 60 pages of puz­zles and games, mazes and more pic­tures for col­or­ing,” includ­ing a recipe for “No-Bake Spice Cook­ies” that sub­sti­tutes com­mon cin­na­mon for Dune’s Spice, a  “wacky aware­ness spec­trum nar­cot­ic that con­trols the uni­verse.” Oth­er vol­umes con­tain Dune-themed paper dolls, Dune-themed word puz­zles, and even Dune-themed math prob­lems.

Though Dune remains pri­mar­i­ly remem­bered as one of the worst flops in cin­e­ma his­to­ry (and even Lynch him­self usu­al­ly refus­es to dis­cuss it), a few fans have also come to its defense over the past 32 years. Some of them have no doubt want­ed to pass this revi­sion­ist appre­ci­a­tion down to their chil­dren, a task the Dune col­or­ing and activ­i­ty books may (or may not) make eas­i­er. If you buy them on Ama­zon, you’ll have to pay between $45 and $75 each — noth­ing com­pared to the cost of any­thing in the actu­al pro­duc­tion of Dune, of course, but still, you may want to keep an eye on eBay instead.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Glos­sary Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios Gave Out to the First Audi­ences of David Lynch’s Dune (1984)

The 14-Hour Epic Film, Dune, That Ale­jan­dro Jodor­owsky, Pink Floyd, Sal­vador Dalí, Moe­bius, Orson Welles & Mick Jag­ger Nev­er Made

Howard Johnson’s Presents a Children’s Menu Fea­tur­ing Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Free Col­or­ing Books from World-Class Libraries & Muse­ums: The Met, New York Pub­lic Library, Smith­son­ian & More

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

Free Coloring Books from World-Class Libraries & Museums: The Met, New York Public Library, Smithsonian & More

Call­ing all col­or­ing book lovers. You can now take part in #Col­or­Our­Col­lec­tions 2017–a cam­paign where muse­ums and libraries world­wide will make avail­able free col­or­ing books, let­ting you col­or art­work from their col­lec­tions and then share it on Twit­ter and oth­er social media plat­forms. When shar­ing, use the hash­tag #Col­or­Our­Col­lec­tions.

Below you can find a col­lec­tion of free col­or­ing books, which you can down­load and con­tin­ue to enjoy. If you see any that we’re miss­ing, please let us know in the com­ments, and we’ll do our best to update the page. To see the free col­or­ing books that were offered up in 2016, click here.

Col­or Our Col­lec­tions is orga­nized by The New York Acad­e­my of Med­i­cine Library. So please give them thanks.

Look­ing for free, pro­fes­­sion­al­­ly-read audio books from Audible.com? Here’s a great, no-strings-attached deal. If you start a 30 day free tri­al with Audible.com, you can down­load two free audio books of your choice. Get more details on the offer here.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The First Adult Col­or­ing Book: See the Sub­ver­sive Exec­u­tive Col­or­ing Book From 1961

Down­load 15,000+ Free Gold­en Age Comics from the Dig­i­tal Com­ic Muse­um

Read Mar­tin Luther King and The Mont­gomery Sto­ry: The Influ­en­tial 1957 Civ­il Rights Com­ic Book

Dr. Seuss Draws Anti-Japan­ese Car­toons Dur­ing WWII, Then Atones with Hor­ton Hears a Who!

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.