In an effort to promote access to its resources and increase public engagement, the Smithsonian Institution has released 2.8 million images from copyright restrictions on its site, Smithsonian Open Access. Visitors to the website can download and use the files in whatever way they wish without requesting express permission from the organization. The goal is to release more than three million images to open access by the end of this year.
Echoing its longstanding mission to “the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” the Smithsonian has invited creators to repurpose its collections in new and innovative ways. The images of items span over two centuries of work since the institution’s founding in 1846, hailing from the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.
The Smithsonian’s push towards open access will offer “text, still images, sound recordings, research datasets, 3D models, collections data, and more,” according to the site. There may still be certain restrictions on items still under copyright — which may likely affect more recent pop culture ephemera, items directly on loan with restrictions, culturally sensitive works, an item that the institution does not yet own, or items that have not yet been digitized.
An earlier initiative to increase access to the Smithsonian’s collections made 4.7 million images and datasets available to the public for non-commercial use. Many of those have now been re-licensed with the new designation of CC0, which now allows any use without the Smithsonian’s prior approval. Google Arts & Culture partnered with the institution to launch Smithsonian Open Access.
“Open access is a milestone for the Smithsonian in our efforts to reach, educate and inspire audiences,” said Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III in a press release. “Through this initiative, we are empowering people across the globe to reimagine and repurpose our collections in creative new ways.”
This week, news outlets flock to TikTok, New York Times staff strikes, the problem with the phrase “late-term abortion,” and was the North Pole once a forest?
The 11,000-year-old wall relief discovered in Southeastern Turkey may reflect humans’ changing roles in the natural world during the Neolithic Revolution.
The Brazilian artist forced the museum to remove his work from a show about the Black experience, calling it “White man’s theater.”
In an era of fast fashion and sweatshop exploitation, the artist demonstrates how far an industry will go to keep workers out of the picture.
This adventurous theater festival returns in person with 36 artists and companies from nine countries performing at different venues across the city.
Both Don Ed Hardy and Laurie Steelink refuse to adhere to traditional artistic hierarchies, an attitude they have shared throughout their 30-year friendship.
It took over 37 hours to pull 1,900 miles of glass filament to create the garment, now on view at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Learn more about the New York-based, globally linked program and its upcoming discussions on art and society in the time of AI and data governance.
An insidious racism is at play in interviewer Henri Renaud’s attempt to groom Thelonious Monk for public consumption on French television.
The last few years at the museum have not been without controversy, and Decatur will inherit a record of workforce struggles.
The program, along with recently announced visiting critics, will provide long term funding, promote access, and safeguard experimentation for future students of color.
Refugees of the Moria camp in Lesvos, Greece are behind the camera in the film Nothing About Us Without Us.
Helen Molesworth’s true-crime sensation marginalizes the artist’s life and legacy.