#ColorOurCollections Is Back!

#colorourcollectionsGet Free Coloring Pages From Libraries, Archives, and Museums

I love antique and ancient paper memorabilia. And the thought that I could color copies of old, antique and ancient prints thrills me.

And once again this year you and I can do just that, thanks to an international group of art museums, public libraries, botanical gardens, and universities participating in an initiative called #ColorOurCollections.

The New York Academy of Medicine Library launched #ColorOurCollections last year, and since then more than 60 institutions have joined the effort. Last’s year campaign was very popular, with 7,800 social media shares in its first week.

This year’s subjects feature everything from anatomy, plants, advertisements, architecture, and even patents. And they are free.

At first glance, #Color Our Collections might seem like just a way for these institutions to re-purpose their content. But I think it is also a great way for us to realize how interesting and valuable these institutions are, especially the public libraries. And besides getting great coloring pages, you get an opportunity to learn.

So get to it! Print the images and learn a bit about them. Next, take out your pens, pencils and markers and color.  Share your masterpieces on social media using the event hashtag #ColorOurCollections.

🖍 Check out my tips on making great printables here.

Here are four of my favorite collections:

The Biodiversity Heritage Library

#ColorOurCollectionsThe Biodiversity Heritage Library “…improves research methodology by collaboratively making biodiversity literature openly available to the world.” Their 15-page PDF coloring book includes black and white versions of illustrations from their collection, such as insects, plants, animals, birds and fish. Each page has a thumbnail of the original print for inspiration. Get their coloring book here. You can also check out their 2016 coloring book, the Australian version, and their Flickr stream here.

The National Library of Medicine

#colorourcollectionsThe National Library of Medicine’s History of Medicine Division “…collects, preserves, makes available and interprets for diverse audiences one of the world’s richest collections of historical material related to human health and disease.” Their 20-page PDF coloring book has 13 illustrations covering the gamut from ancient medicinal plants to old posters. Click here to get their printable pages, which include some info what they are.

The Auraria Library

#colorourcollectionsDenver’s Auraria Library is the only academic library in the US that serves three institutions: the University of Colorado, Denver; the Metropolitan State University of Denver; and the Community College of Denver. Their PDF coloring book, which you can get here, is based on a poem about slaying dragons.


#colorourcollectionsEuropeana.eu “…enables people to explore the digital resources of Europe’s galleries, museums, libraries, archives and audiovisual collections.” Their coloring book for 2017 features eight Art Nouveau colorless paintings and posters waiting for your creative skills. Get it here.


You can see the full list of institutions participating in #ColorOurCollections here.


5 thoughts on “#ColorOurCollections Is Back!”

  1. Renee Rousseau says:

    I love this information! Thanks so much for sharing! Who’d have known!!!

  2. Julie Waldron says:

    Thanks for sharing, it looks like you can find some interesting pages to color.

  3. humera tabassum says:

    Love all the info thanks for the share

  4. Thanks for the demo, I have yet to put pencil to paper, but I’m glad it won’t look 1 dimensional and childish.
    Glad for these tips!

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