The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Smithsonian Digitization Update
Even if you have visited the Smithsonian in person, you probably don’t know that it’s comprised of 19 museums and 9 research centers. You can’t see it all by visiting the Mall in Washington D.C. since there are museums in New York and research centers in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Panama. Each museum and research center researches and collects around different topics, from African Art to Zoology.
The Smithsonian’s digital collections reflect this diversity. For several years, the Smithsonian Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO) has been working to provide the public with a way to search across the Smithsonian’s diverse systems that house the Smithsonian’s digital collections (this effort was recently boosted by a Getty Foundation grant received by OCIO and the Smithsonian Photography Initiative). To date, you can search across 1.9 million records which include 195,000 images, video and sound files, mostly representing the disciplines of art, history, and culture. Most recently, the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden was added to the mix and you can now view artworks by Ralston Crawford across SI. Search now.