“More items are being added to Smithsonian Open Access all the time, each with its own story to tell — and all accessible not just to Americans, but internet users the world over. In that sense it feels a bit like the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, better known as the World’s Columbian Exposition, with its mission of revealing America’s scientific, technological, and artistic genius to the whole of human civilization. You can see a great many photos and other artifacts of this landmark event at Smithsonian Open Access, or, if you prefer, you can click the “just browsing” link and behold all the historical, cultural, and formal variety available in the Smithsonian’s digital collections, where the spirit of Columbia lives on.”
“Internationally recognized as an expert in open knowledge systems and equitable access, Effie began her career during the web boom in the nineties. In 2005 she found her niche doing digital work for museums. A passion for inclusiveness and outreach drove her work at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where she was a longtime employee.
Effie led the efforts to develop the Smithsonian’s Open Access Initiative, which put millions of images from the collection into the public domain. She was a significant collaborator on the One Smithsonian digital strategy, and was one of the institution’s greatest collaborators, bringing together partners from the Smithsonian museums and museums around the world….”
“Ownership of the Johnson Publishing Company Archive, which includes the photographic archives of Ebony and Jet magazines, has been formally transferred jointly to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and the Getty Research Institute. Sold for $30 million in 2019, academics, archivists, and artists were reassured to learn that the vast trove would pass into the hands of institutions committed to preserving and facilitating public access to it after extended anxiety that it would be won at auction by private collectors….”
“The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives’ Art and Artist Files collection is a dynamic and valuable resource for art historical research. In total, the Smithsonian has hundreds of thousands of physical files, containing millions of ephemeral items: newspaper clippings, press releases, brochures, invitations, and so much more. The files hold information on artists, art collectives, and galleries, but in formats that would normally have been tossed out, being too small to catalog and shelve in a library in the usual way. Because these special items fall between the cracks of typical library and research organizational practices, libraries that collect these materials are coming up with innovative ways to make their contents discoverable to a wider world. Which made them a wonderful collection to experiment with as a part of our Smithsonian Libraries and Archives Wikidata pilot projects! …”
“Welcome to Smithsonian Open Access, where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking. With new platforms and tools, you have easier access to more than 3.9 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo….”
“Over the past two years, Smithsonian Libraries and Archives has embarked on a linked data journey along with many other libraries in the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Wikidata pilot project. From October 2020 to August 2021, the Libraries Wikidata team experimented with creating and maintaining name authority in a completely new way, including plans to install a decentralized Wikidata instance (Wikibase) that would meet the Smithsonian policies and best practices. This is the second part in the Wikidata blog post series, be sure to read our previous post for additional information.
Smithsonian Libraries and Archives’ Wiki initiation commenced with a Wikidata workshop held in November 2019 with Andrew Lih, currently the Wikimedian-In-Residence for the American Women’s History Initiative. The outgrowth of the workshop was a name reconciling project using carefully curated name data. During the pandemic, this process was expanded to include additional staff and two name datasets: 1) the Art and Artist Files database and 2) a portion of Smithsonian American Art Museum’s artist names from its database….”
“Libraries have created and curated metadata that describes their collections for a very long time. It is the very essence of the cataloging and metadata profession. This past year, because of the pandemic, the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives initiated a unit-wide pilot project to explore if and how a linked open data platform offered by Wikimedia Foundation could reconceptualize how authority control could be transitioned to identity management.
Propelled by the basic principles prescribed by Tim Berners-Lee, library staff laid the groundwork to transition from a text-centric to a data-centric orientation in 2019. This involves changing bibliographic description to structured data, based on a linked open data standard and preparing the Libraries and Archives’ MARC data, the current standard used for machine-readable cataloging records, for transformation to RDF triples. RDF, or Resource Description Framework, uses URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) for objects and property in a structured way. This allows for the creation of rich networks of meaningful data and takes us from the flat world of the textual into a new world of possibilities with linked data….”
“Anyone who’s been to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will speak of its elevator ride through time, which takes visitors from the present day to the 15th century and kicks off the first exhibit, Slavery & Freedom. With the launch of a new virtual platform, visitors can now travel on the elevator down to that exhibit without ever leaving their homes.
The Searchable Museum, launched Thursday, transforms the artifacts, stories, and interactive experiences of the physical exhibit into a digital platform where museumgoers can take it in at their own pace.
Eventually, the museum plans to bring all of its exhibits online. The next exhibit, Making a Way Out of No Way, will go online this spring….”
“The Head of Digital Transformation will be expected to conceptualize and execute an institutional digital transformation strategy, integrate and prioritize ongoing digital initiatives, ensure new and innovative ideas are considered and acted upon, and target a handful of key cultural and structural reforms needed to support a truly “One Smithsonian” digital approach.”
“Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade, a newly launched digital database featuring 613,458 entries (and counting), seeks to streamline the research process by placing dozens of complex datasets in conservation with each other. If, for instance, a user searches for a woman whose transport to the Americas is documented in one database but whose later life is recorded in another, the portal can connect these details and synthesize them….”
“In celebration of this year’s annual Open Access Week, the Smithsonian Research Online team will be releasing a new dashboard on our statistics page that includes data about the openness of Smithsonian research publications. As the official record of scholarly publications for the Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Research Online is in a great position to analyze this data and help the Institution reflect, participate, and learn more about the scholarly output of the Smithsonian research community….”
“We are pleased to announce that cultural organisations using Sketchfab can now dedicate their 3D scans and models to the Public Domain using the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0). This newly supported dedication allows museums and similar organisations to share their 3D data more openly, adding amazing 3D models to the Public Domain, many for the first time. This update also makes it even easier for 3D creators to download and reuse, re-imagine, and remix incredible ancient and modern artifacts, objects, and scenes.
We are equally proud to make this announcement in collaboration with 27 cultural organisations from 13 different countries. We are especially happy to welcome the Smithsonian Institution to Sketchfab as part of this initiative. The Smithsonian has uploaded their first official 3D models to Sketchfab as part of their newly launched open access program….”
“This document outlines the Smithsonian Institution’s plan to provide increased public access to certain peer-reviewed scholarly publications and supporting digital research data1 that arise from research funded, in whole or in part, by a federal funding source (hereinafter “Federally Funded Research Materials” or “FFRM”), consistent with the principles of access under the Office of Science and Technology Policy Memorandum dated February 22, 2013.2 This plan is effective as of October 1, 2015; only FFRM submitted for publication on or after the effective date shall be covered….”
“The Smithsonian has released its Plan for Increased Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research, based on the principles outlined by the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Through the new plan, all applicable publications and supporting data resulting from federally funded research will be available through the Smithsonian Research Online (SRO) website or CHORUS, a nonprofit membership organization that helps federal entities increase public access to research. The plan will take effect Oct. 1 and apply to articles submitted to publishers on or after that date….”