Smithsonian putting up tons of free-access images.

(Via Instapundit) Welp, this is gonna be handy:

For the first time in its 174-year history, the Smithsonian has released 2.8 million high-resolution two- and three-dimensional images from across its collections onto an open access online platform for patrons to peruse and download free of charge. Featuring data and material from all 19 Smithsonian museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives and the National Zoo, the new digital depot encourages the public to not just view its contents, but use, reuse and transform them into just about anything they choose—be it a postcard, a beer koozie or apair of bootie shorts.

And this gargantuan data dump is just the beginning. Throughout the rest of 2020, the Smithsonian will be rolling out another 200,000 or so images, with more to come as the Institution continues to digitize its collection of 155 million items and counting.

A quick look at stuff reveals that much is going to be outside of my immediate needs (I always need good medieval/Renaissance images for the baronial newsletter), but at least some of it is not. I like this open access policy, by the way. It feels very civic of them to do it.

1 Comment

  • Rockphed says:

    Don’t they have a standing admission fee of $0? This feels like a way to both help cut down on people who are going to the museum just to look closely at one item and to help people get a feel for what is in the collection before they go. Both are good ways to encourage patrons to spend more time looking at interesting and informative exhibits that match their needs and less time aimlessly wandering between exhibit halls.

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