Those who enjoy adult coloring books or people with children to keep occupied might be grateful for an artistic initiative from a New York library. It is providing free coloring pages for download from over 100 museums, libraries and other institutions.

A family sitting at a table coloring pages
You can entertain the family with free colouring pages from museums and libraries © John Fedele/Getty Images

With most of us under instruction to stay at home at present, it can be hard to find ways to keep ourselves, and our children, entertained. The #ColorOurCollections initiative provides us with an interesting supply of coloring material to occupy us during the long days of self-isolation and social distancing.

The initiative was first launched by the New York Academy of Medicine Library in 2016, and has developed into an annual coloring festival on social media. During the festival, libraries, museums, archives and other cultural institutions around the world share free coloring content featuring images from their collections. A wide range of themes are covered so there is something for everyone.

The annual #ColorOurCollections week generally occurs in early February, when new coloring books are released on NYAM's website and shared throughout the week by the participating institutions on social media. The coloring books from 2020 and previous years remain accessible year-round for free download, and have experienced a surge of interest lately as people seek ways to entertain themselves from home.

As well as providing entertainment, art is famously therapeutic and coloring in lovely artwork might help to soothe those who are anxious about the uncertain times we're living in. You can check out the list of free coloring pages here and download the ones you choose to print.

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