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2022 Smithsonian Digitization Conference announcement image
Cooper Hewitt Collection Images

Collections Digitization

The DPO’s Collections Digitization Program supports the Smithsonian Institution in its efforts to digitize its collections as comprehensively, quickly, and cost-effectively as possible.
3D Model of a Woolly Mammoth

3D Digitization

The 3D Program is a small group of technologists working within the Smithsonian Institution's Digitization Program Office. We focus on developing solutions to further the Smithsonian's mission of “the increase and diffusion of knowledge” through the use of three-dimensional scanning technology, analysis tools, and our distribution platform.

NMAH Austin Adding Machine

Policy & Analysis

The Policy and Analysis Program collects metrics which track digitization progress, needs and opportunities across the Smithsonian.

Objects and Dashboard from Mass Digitization

Automation in Mass Digitization Projects

The Mass Digitization projects of the Digitization Program Office (DPO) created millions of images, many of which are now available under Open Access. The scale of each project resulted in a time-consuming process of keeping track of the progress of each file, find problems, and fix errors. In the last couple of years, we have moved to data-centric approaches for our workflows, where we use automated tools to collect detailed data from each project and to keep track of each


The Digitization Program Office (DPO) supports discovery through digitization. Founded in 2009 as a division of the Smithsonian’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, DPO partners with others to increase the quantity, quality, and impact of digitized Smithsonian collections.

With more than 155 million objects and specimens, volumes, and archives, distributed across 21 museums, nine research centers, a zoo, and numerous storage facilities, the scale and diversity of Smithsonian collections present a unique digitization challenge. DPO addresses this challenge by establishing metrics to track digitization progress across the Institution, by digitizing collections using cutting edge technologies combined with high throughput, high quality processes, and by exploring ways to enhance the access, use, and impact of digitized Smithsonian collections.

We feel a great sense of urgency in bringing our collections online. With less than 1% of the collections on display at any one time, our digital collections provide building blocks and entryways to new journeys of discovery.