The digitization of literature and art, among everything else, can be both a blessing and a curse. But regardless of how you might feel about this new medium through which we can appreciate artistic creations from around the world, the NYPL Digital Collections by The New York Public Library is sure to get you excited.

Just released this month, the NYPL Digital Collections is a database of photos, maps, artwork, music sheets, and other historical documents the world has to offer. It currently contains over 180,000 works, and so long as you have internet access, you can view them all for free.

Needless to say, you can find many Japanese works on the database as well. As of January 18th, there are over 1,300 Japan-related works all in the public domain. They include ukiyoe paintings, old photos, and picture scrolls that you can set as your desktop wallpaper, print out and hang on a wall as decoration, or use however else you please!

Three Little Maids from School are we (1898-1931)

Japanese Warrior, Smithsonian Institute, Washington.

Woman Getting Her Hair Styled (1752-1815)

Hara, Asa no Fuji (1832)

Totsuka, Motomachi warakaremichi (1832)

Barque de Dai-Ko-Ku, bois. (1874-1885)

Nihonbashi, Asa no kei (1832)

Shōno, Haku-u. = Shono (Station 46), Driving rain. (1832)

Travelling in Japan (1898-1931)

A Japanese Reservist Leaving Home. (1904)

If you’re more of a bookworm and want to see some old books, there’s also a Japanese database from which you can download historical Japanese literature.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.