From the Smithsonian:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum announced today the completion of a comprehensive year-and-a-half project to digitize its collection, with more than 200,000 objects now accessible online via collection.cooperhewitt.org.
In collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office, the mass digitization project transformed a physical object (2-D or 3-D) from the shelf to a virtual object in one continuous process. At its peak, the project had four photographic set ups in simultaneous operation, allowing each to handle a certain size, range and type of object, from minute buttons to large posters and furniture. A key to the project’s success was having a completely barcoded collection, which dramatically increased efficiency and allowed all object information to be automatically linked to each image.
The project digitized an average of 600 objects per day, with publication to the website in as little as 48 hours.
Online visitors can search the collection through traditional fields, such as time periods or countries, and also take a deep dive through color, size or type of object. A random button allows for an exciting journey of discovery, inspiring learning and sharing.
The mass digitization of the museum’s permanent collection is made possible by the Morton and Barbara Mandel Family Foundation.