All Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., including the National Zoo, and in New York City continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Special thanks to our Launch Collaborators, including artists, innovators, educators, technologists, and students, who developed these inspiring examples of what is possible with Smithsonian Open Access.
Access Smithsonian Makes Smithsonian Collections Available to All
Access Smithsonian presents two projects highlighting how accessible practices enhance museum-going experiences with the Freer Gallery of Art’s Cosmic Buddha tactile and verbal descriptions and the Cooper Hewitt's Image Description Guidelines and training videos.
Amazon Web Services—Sumerian
Amazon Sumerian Makes Smithsonian 3D Objects Available on Web and Mobile
Amazon Web Services created an immersive experience in AWS Sumerian with the National Museum of Asian Art’s 3D model of Ewer with Birds, Snakes and Humans, an ancient Chinese bronze. Sumerian allows the public to experience 3D in web browsers and mobile. Sumerian’s online tutorial on how to create AR content now features the Chinese bronze.
Check out the 3D Ewer with Birds, Snakes and Humans experience on AWS Sumerian
Amy Karle, “Deep Time and the Far Future” and “Morphologies of Resurrection
Artist Amy Karle created nine sculptures in two series examining the possibilities of reconstructive technologies and the potential and the pitfalls of future evolution that come with technological advancements. The sculptures are based on the 66-million-year-old Triceratops at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, which made history as the first “digital dinosaur”—the first 3D scan of an entire dinosaur skeleton executed by the Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office.
An Open Book Foundation
Open Culture Book Event for DC Youth with An Open Book
The Smithsonian and An Open Book invited Washington, DC, elementary students from DC Bilingual Public Charter School and Kimball Elementary School to an event with author Jon Scieszka and illustrator Steven Weinberg, creators of AstroNuts. Students were gifted AstroNuts along with a new remix booklet created for Smithsonian Open Access by Scieszka and Weinberg: COLLAGASAURUS! An Open Book Foundation is a local literacy nonprofit that brings award-winning authors, illustrators, and their books into qualifying DC-area schools.
AstroNuts Present “Collagasaurus”: A Smithsonian Remix Book for K–12 Students
Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg (plus the spirit of the Smithsonian’s founder, James Smithson) have created a booklet to show anyone how to collage the Smithsonian open access collection into a... COLLAGASAURUS!
Download the free book on Smithsonian Learning Lab.
Smithsonian 3D Models Available on Autodesk Tinkercad
Autodesk has incorporated Smithsonian 3D collections, including the Smithsonian Gardens’ embreea orchid and the National Museum of Natural History’s Triceratops skull, into Tinkercad, their free, 3D design tool popular with teachers, students, hobbyists, and designers.
Experience the Space Shuttle Discovery in High-resolution 3D with Cesium
Cesium has created a 3D-immersive experience with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s space shuttle discovery model created by the Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office. Cesium used Tiles, an open specification for streaming massive 3D datasets, to allow for fast download of the space shuttle.
Chris Funk & N M Bodecker Foundation
Open Access Teen Songwriting Intensive: N M Bodecker Foundation and Multi-instrumentalist, Chris Funk
The Smithsonian sponsored a Teen Songwriting Intensive with the N M Bodecker Foundation; a Portland, Oregon-based non-profit that empowers creative youth to imagine and achieve their artistic, educational, and professional dreams. Teens researched, wrote, and recorded songs based on primary source documents describing the Smithsonian’s mission of “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Artistic Mentors included Zach Carothers (Portugal. The Man), Kyle Craft, Chris Funk (The Decemberists), John Gourley (Portugal. The Man), Adam Lee, Jon Mooallem, Karma Rivera, and Lisa Vazquez. Student artists include Rumi Chapiro-Wolf, Tracy Jones, Sirena Miranda, Lucas Murray, Eli Pearl, Calvin Sewell, Forest Shaw, and Jolly Wrapper.
Listen to the songs.
Smithsonian CC0 Collections Now on Creative Commons Search
The Smithsonian's CC0 open collections can be accessed on CC Search, a tool that allows openly licensed and public domain works to be discovered and used by everyone. The Creative Commons licenses and public domain tools are free, international, easy-to-use legal tools that are the standard for enabling sharing and remix.
Smithsonian 3D Natural History Specimens Now on MorphoSource
MorphoSource hosts research-quality 3D data that now includes 3D models of biological specimens from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. The goal of MorphoSource is to provide researchers rapid access to large numbers of raw microCt data and surface meshes representing vouchered specimens.
Georgetown University Maker Hub in Lauinger Library
Georgetown University’s Maker Hub Students Remix the Smithsonian
Students at Georgetown University were challenged to create new objects, designs, and experiences based on Smithsonian open access collections. Projects include 3D-printed shoes and jewelry, laser-cut clocks, prints, apps, textile works, electronics, remix/mashups, artworks, and more.
Google Arts & Culture
Smithsonian CC0 Collections Now on Google Arts & Culture
Working with the Smithsonian teams, Google Arts & Culture applied machine learning to the entire collections dataset to uncover connections between early women scientists at the Smithsonian and their life’s work. In addition, the open access collection, including stories created by Smithsonian curators to showcase highlights from the collections, will also be hosted on the Google Arts & Culture platform for viewers around the globe.
The Khronos Group
Smithsonian 3D Models Available in glTF™
To distribute the Smithsonian’s 3D models in the public domain, there is now a download option for our 3D models in glTF™, an open standard developed by Khronos.
The Smithsonian Helps MHz Curationist Reframe the World We Share
From February 25 through March 31, 2020, MHz Foundation’s Curationist.org will showcase a series of Smithsonian features curated from content just released as CC0. Curationist is a searchable database of Creative Commons art and culture content with a goal to facilitate cross-border cultural exchanges.
Michael Joo, Matthew Putman, and James J. Williams III
Michael Joo, Matthew Putman, and James J. Williams III present a sculptural project in three parts. This mixed-media collaborative art installation highlights the possibilities of fusing cultural collections and conceptual interpretation, layering both materials and meaning.
Listen to accompanying audio.
Smithsonian 3D Available on Community Platform, Sketchfab
The Smithsonian‘s 3D content is now available on Sketchfab for the first time as part of the Smithsonian Open Access Initiative. In addition to its own AR and VR app, Sketchfab places the Smithsonian’s 3D data into the hands of 3D artists, designers, and game developers who can import it directly into their favorite 3D software
Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Open Educational Resources on Smithsonian Learning Lab
Webby award-winner Smithsonian Learning Lab is a free, interactive platform for the discovery and creative use of the Smithsonian’s millions of digital resources: images, recordings, texts, and more. See how the lab can make it easy to use open access resources for learning in and out of the classroom.
Smithsonian Data Science Lab
Big Data Powered by the Smithsonian Data Science Lab and Smithsonian Open Access
Using digitized herbarium specimens from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Data Science Lab demonstrates a machine-learning workflow to understand global patterns of biodiversity. The lab works with Smithsonian researchers and scholars to use big-data techniques like machine learning to generate new insights, whether they are derived from genome sequencing, ecological sensors, or mass digitization of museum objects.
Smithsonian Libraries & Museum in a Box
Museum in a Box: Storytelling with Digital Collections
The Smithsonian Libraries’ Museum in a Box is a simple, tactile cultural experience using digitized collections. Discover how Smithsonian Libraries has used this technology to make collections come alive. The Traveling Trunks program can be delivered to any school or library in the country.
Explore the Smithsonian Open Data with Wikidata Knowledge Graph (Wikimedia DC)
Wikipedia is a reference site with the goal of conveying the world's knowledge. Wikidata project demonstrates how open access initiatives like those from the Smithsonian help contribute to a more rich and complete global view of human knowledge that is freely available to all. Wikimedia DC has collaborated with the Smithsonian on Wikipedia crowdsourcing campaigns for almost a decade.