The Smithsonian Institute has released almost 3 million digital objects through its Open Access portal, most of which are in the public domain under the Creative Commons 0 (CC0) license. This collection includes both 2D and 3D items from the Smithsonian’s collections in addition to 173-years of staff-created data, and spans the Institute’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.
This is the first step in the Smithsonian’s ongoing Open Access initiative, which will see them release approximately 200,000 additional CC0 digital documents throughout 2020. In addition to the digital objects themselves, the Smithsonian has included an FAQ about the collection, a statement of the values guiding the release of the open access materials, and a page to view usage statistics of the collection.
This collection is a valuable resource to digital humanists and educators in need of open access resources to use in their own projects, and will hopefully serve as an example of the power and utility of open access principles and practice through the projects its materials support and inspire.