Creating a Digital Smithsonian, One Bug at a Time, Preferably in 3-D

Presenter: Günter Waibel, Director, Digitization Program Office, Smithsonian Institution The Smithsonian Institution consists of nineteen museums and nine research facilities and includes countless archives and a library with twenty branches. Its collection of 139 million museum objects, specimens, and library volumes are dispersed over 1,800 distinct spaces in 41 facilities. The institutional Strategic Plan as well as the Digitization Strategic Plan both call for a massive ramp-up in digitizing these collections.  The Smithsonian Digitization Program Office grapples with the question of how to conceptualize the capture of this immense and immensely heterogeneous collection and works hand-in-hand with Smithsonian units who are at the front line of increasing the rate of digitization. In this session, you'll learn about scoping the pan-institutional challenge, about a new effort at the National Museum of Natural History to prototype innovative ideas for capturing both descriptive metadata and surrogates of collection objects and specimens, and an effort to determine what role 3-D technologies should play in creating a digital Smithsonian. Presented Thursday, November 8, 2012 at the Museum Computer Network conference in Seattle, WA.