Open Access in history of art

As in most other humanities disciplines, Open Access (OA) in history of art does not have anything like the importance that it has in the natural sciences, for example. However, there are a number of key players and institutions in the field of history of art who have intensively promoted the dissemination of OA publications and who are driving forward the publication of high-quality works on the Internet.

Open Access journals

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) listed 75 OA journals under the search term "fine arts" (as of July 2018).

In Germany, the offerings are as follows:

The provision of the technical infrastructure to publish OA journals is one of the services that Heidelberg University Library supplies for The service is aimed at art historians and scholars worldwide. As at March 2017, 23 OA journals were hosted at

Open Access monographs -ART-Books -ART-Books is's OA publishing platform for scholarly e-books from the fields of art history, photography, and design. Both primary OA publications ("the gold road to OA") and secondary OA publications ("the green road to OA") are published. The cost-free service is aimed at art historians and scholars throughout the world. The platform uses the open source software Open Monograph Press (OMP), which was developed by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP).

Open Access research data - Repository for Research Data

In addition to the possibility of archiving research data in the respective institutional research data repositories, research data underlying the OA publications published via can also be archived there on a long-term basis (example).

Disciplinary repositories

ART-Dok - Art History Publication Platform

ART-Dok is's digital repository and publication platform. Here, scholars from all over the world have the opportunity to publish online their works (monographs, articles, conference papers, etc.) in the field of art history free of charge and without access restrictions. The provision of open access to publications that have already appeared in print form (so-called secondary publication) is also possible and desired. As at April 2017, ART-Dok contained around 5,000 OA publications.

Literature and image searches in history of art

Specialist portals and platforms

Databases, etc.

International database of the bibliographic records of the holdings of art and museum libraries in the USA and Europe.

The Getty Research Institute's specialist portal that provides access to digitised art history texts.

Image databases:

Key players

Arbeitskreis Digitale Kunstgeschichte Maria Effinger, Heidelberg University Library

Prof. Dr Hubertus Kohle, Chair of Art History, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich