free, high-res, public domain line art?
June 11, 2005 4:42 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for high resolution, public domain scans of old black and white illustrations, the type found in magazines, books, and newspapers. Gutenberg has plenty of nice images, for example they have an illustrated edition of Aesop's fables, but the resolution is crap. Ideally I'm looking for at least 300dpi tiff files, or better. Does such a thing exist online for free or am I better off trawling used books stores and the library stacks and scanning these myself? My google skills yield little beyond the Dover clip art books,

and, while one can find a torrent containing 20gb of comic books, I've yet to stumble on any torrent of these types of images...not that I'm requesting any such thing...
posted by Grod to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You are in luck. Take a gander at, and go into the American Memory Project. Search all collections for WPA posters, old packaging and illustrated brochures, etc. Often there are VERY high res, uncompressed TIFs available. And since much of this stuff (such as the WPA posters and the Farm Administration photos) was produced under the aegis of a federal program, there are no copyright issues whatsoever.
posted by luriete at 5:04 PM on June 11, 2005 [1 favorite]

cool, I'd forgotten all about that. I wonder if I can find clean/simple graphics. Hours of fun! Thanks.
posted by Grod at 5:21 PM on June 11, 2005

Briar Press has a few hundred good woodcuts and illustrations in PostScript format.
posted by bcwinters at 6:09 PM on June 11, 2005

Hmm, Brair Press does exactly what I've been, converting old images -- especially printers ornaments and capitals -- into vector art. I've been building dingbat fonts for my own use and ran out of images, hence the question.
posted by Grod at 6:58 PM on June 11, 2005

cool, but I need free as in "beer"
posted by Grod at 7:37 PM on June 11, 2005

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