The Smithsonian Institution has now launched its Open Access program, making 2.8 million images completely free and open to the public.
The new program includes both 2D and 3D images and is sourced from all 19 different Smithsonian museums, its various libraries, archives, its nine research centers, as well as the National Zoo. Listed under a Creative Commons Zero license, all prior copyrights and usage restrictions have now been lifted, and the Institution seeks to encourage the public to use the images and content however they like.
“The sheer scale of this interdisciplinary dataset is astonishing,” says Simon Tanner, an advisor for the Open Access Initiative and expert in digital cultural heritage at the King’s College London. “It opens up a much wider scope of content that crosses science and culture, space and time, in a way that no other collection out there has done, or could possibly even do. This is a staggering contribution to human knowledge.”
Continuing throughout 2020, the program will see another 200,000 images added to the collection, which will steadily grow as the Smithsonian continues to digitize its 155 million-item collection.
To learn more or access the archive, head over to the Smithsonian Institution’s website now.
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