In the hushed halls of museums and libraries, history and knowledge reside in carefully curated collections. But museums are working hard to bring their collections to people in new and innovative ways. Sometimes, you don’t need to even leave your home to enjoy some of these collections. Welcome to the captivating world of #ColorOurCollections, where the timeless treasures of these cultural institutions come alive in vibrant hues.
Coloring books are no longer just for kids
In the past few years, coloring books have gracefully shed their exclusive association with childhood pastimes. In fact, most coloring books are sold to adults. Walk into any bookshop and you’re bound to find at least a couple of coloring books for adults. Oftentimes, these feature repetitive patterns with flowers and mandalas that help you relax. But what if you had something better to color and relax with?
#ColorOurCollections is an initiative that encourages museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions to share coloring sheets and pages from their collections. These coloring pages are often based on artwork, illustrations, or historical documents that are in the public domain or have open licenses, allowing people to freely download and color them.
There are over 100 museums that have put parts of their collections up for coloring. Sometimes, they even put it into a downloadable form, like this collection from Princeton. In addition to the drawings themselves, most museums also put a description of the artwork, so you can immerse yourself in the backstory as well.
So how do you find the museum drawings to color? Well as far as we can tell, there’s no centralized list with all the available collections, so you’re probably best off just searching for the collection hashtag and browsing through the results or adding particular descriptors. For instance, you can search for ‘ColorOurCollections botanicals’ or ‘ColorOurCollections animals’ — whatever you prefer.
In the meantime, we’ve also compiled a short list that can get you started if you’re into coloring. Hope you enjoy!
Some of our favorite ColorOurCollections
- The New York Botanical Garden Coloring Book;
- Smithsonian coloring book collection;
- Boston Children’s Hospital coloring book;
- Cambridge University Library Coloring Book;
- The New York Public Library Coloring Book;
- Biodiversity Heritage Library;
- Virginia Museum of History & Culture;
- Princeton coloring book collection.
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