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Digitization Program Office

A Showcase for Digitization Projects at the Smithsonian

SI Digi Blog

National Museum of Natural History Botany Sheets
Author: Jessica Beauchamp and Ken Rahaim, DPO
Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 12:35
This blog post is the first in a multi-part series looking in detail at each workflow for Mass Digitization projects managed by the Digitization Program Office’s MD team at the Smithsonian.  
Mass digitization at National Museum of Natural History
Author: Jessica Beauchamp, DPO
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 10:30
The Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office team, working alongside staff from 9 museums across the Smithsonian, has reached a monumental digitization milestone!  On Friday, November 6th, a Venezuelan Botany specimen sheet from the National Museum of Natural History's Department of Botany made its way down the conveyor belt, making it the 1/2-millionth item that a DPO-managed project has digitized since our Mass Digitization program began in earnest in late 2013.  
Bell X-1 in 3D
Author: The National Air and Space Museum
Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 12:52
In April, the Smithsonian X 3D team pointed their lasers and scanners at the Bell X-1, the same iconic aircraft that shot Capt. Charles ‘Chuck’ Yeager across the pristine skies of the Mojave Desert to a record-breaking speed. On October 14, 1947, in the Bell X-1, Yeager became the first pilot to fly faster than sound. Now, we can all get as close to the Bell X-1 as Yeager himself with the recently released 3D tour of the exterior of the aircraft.
Space Shuttle Discovery
Author: Dr. Valerie Neal, Chair of the Space History Department, National Air & Space Museum
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 13:15
Every week or two we see news of another museum digitizing its collection and making it accessible online. The Smithsonian is no exception, and efforts are under way across our campus to scan artifacts, works of art, documents, and films and put them on our websites. These projects take months if not years to complete, but it is our high priority to open the museums to visitors beyond our walls, and digitization is a key part of our strategy.
Jon Blundell of the Smithsonian Digitization Program Office 3D Scanning the Greek Slave
Author: Karen Lemmey, Sculpture Curator, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Friday, March 27, 2015 - 13:52
Karen Lemmey, American Art's sculpture curator is organizing an installation that will include Hiram Power's Greek Slave, one of the most popular sculptures of the 19th century. As part of her preparation, she is working with Smithsonian X 3D, part of the Institution's Digitization program, to create a 3D model of the Greek Slave. Karen fills us in on the process. 
T. Rex 3D Skull
Author: Günter Waibel, Director, Digitization Program Office, OCIO
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 12:06
Smithsonian X 3D brings museum collections to homes and classrooms by applying cutting-edge 3D technology to one-of-a-kind objects such as the 1903 Wright Flyer, Lincoln’s Life Masks, a 1500 year old Buddha sculpture, a prehistoric fossilized whale, or a Super Nova. The 3D models are presented online at 3D.SI.EDU through a plug-in free explorer based on WebGL, which was created for the Smithsonian by the 3D design firm Autodesk.
1904 Wright Flyer
Author: Vince Rossi, DPO 3D Imaging
Monday, December 22, 2014 - 15:53
This video tutorial will show you how to use the cross section, measuring and sharing tools with the Smithsonian 3D Explorer. Try these tools out for yourself with the 1904 Wright Flyer model by clicking this link-
3D portrait of President Barack Obama
Author: Günter Waibel, Director, Digitization Program Office, OCIO
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - 13:00
The first presidential portraits created from 3-D scan data are now on display in the Smithsonian Castle. The portraits of President Barack Obama were created based on data collected by a Smithsonian-led team of 3-D digital imaging specialists and include a digital and 3-D printed bust and life mask. A new video released today by the White House (and shown below) details the behind-the-scenes process of scanning, creating and printing the historic portraits.
Skin and Bones Augmented RealityMobile APP
Author: Rebecca Perry, NMNH
Friday, November 21, 2014 - 16:48
Robert Costello, the National Outreach Program Manager at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), has been busy time-traveling a 19th-century, 150-pound Mississippi catfish back to life on his digital tablet.
2014 Smithsonian Institution Digitization Fair
Author: Günter Waibel, Director, Digitization Program Office, OCIO
Monday, November 3, 2014 - 11:51
At the Smithsonian’s biennial Digitization Fair, we strive to bring together the entire digitization community from our 19 museums and 9 research centers to share best practices, great ideas and lofty visions. This year, for the first time, we also invited a range of presenters from left field, so to speak.