I recently learned that each year various museums and other institutions make available line drawings from their archives as part of an effort called #ColorOurCollections. I’ve known for a while that coloring books aren’t just for kids anymore, and that lots of people enjoy a good coloring session. With #ColorOurCollections, you’ve got the option to diversify in some interesting directions.
This year’s participants include 114 different institutions, including museums, libraries, archives and government offices. The range surprised me. There’s the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on the one hand, and the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture and Design on the other. The Folger Shakespeare Library and the British Library included images, as did the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Garden. There are university libraries from all over the world, with captions in various languages and alphabets.
The website lists collections from 2017 and 2018 as well; all told there are 396 organizations that have provided images for the ongoing project, so the variety is impressive. In one collection from the national library of Chile (Memoria Chilena) I found a medieval jester on a donkey in one frame and diagrams showing various views of cranial anatomy in another.
There’s so much to explore! I’ll just include a series of images here, and hope that your curiosity will take you to the website to do more browsing. If this looks like a relaxation technique you would enjoy, I hope you’ll be able to arrange for both some coloring tools and a little free time.
And finally, a little color for one of these coloring pages:
Psychologists point to coloring’s therapeutic value, engaging different brain centers, requiring focus in a low-stakes setting. I understand that coloring is gaining ground as a social activity, too. My editor, El Guapo, pointed out that coloring is the sort of tactile, meditative activity that could prove a valuable alternative to screen time, which can tend to take us over if we’re not vigilant.
With good reasons like that, and interesting pages like these, are you ready to color?
[Images: New York Academy of Medicine, memoriachilena x 2, British Library x 5, Folger Library, Davenport Library x 3]