Since the Smithsonian became a collecting institution, and for the following decades, the only way for the public to see the objects within the collections was to visit Washington, DC. With the initiatives taken by the Digitization Program Office, in parternship with DUSCIS, the whole world can now view an increasing selection of Smithsonian collections from mobile devices and computers.
Supporting all 19 museums, 9 research centers and the National Zoo in the quest to increase the quantity and quality of Smithsonian digital assets, the Office has digitized the Smithsonian collections at rapid scale. At present, the Smithsonian has prioritized about 10 percent of its collections for digitization. To rise to this challenge, the Digitization Program Office is promoting rapid capture photography workflows for two-dimensional collections, and exploring innovations to speed up the capture of our three-dimensional collections, preferably in 3D.
For more information, visit 3d.si.edu
"With only 1 percent of collections on display in Smithsonian museum galleries, digitization affords the opportunity to bring the remaining 99 percent of the collection into the virtual light. All of these digital assets become the infrastructure which will allow not just the Smithsonian, but the world at large to tell new stories about the familiar, as well as the unfamiliar, treasures in these collections." — Günter Waibel, Director, Digitization Program Office