May 17, 2022

Mass Digitization Projects: See Thousands Of Orchids in Incredible Detail in Newly Digitized Collection From the Smithsonian

From Smithsonian Insider:

More than 8,000 living specimens in the Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection have been digitized and are now available to see and study from anywhere in the world. The Smithsonian’s Mass Digitization Program, in association with the National Collections Program, started photographing the plants in December 2017 and recently put the complete collection online.

Digitization allows anyone with the internet to have access to the orchids year-round and without traveling to Washington, D.C., where some are on view for a few months during an annual orchid exhibition. You can search for specific plants by name, taxonomy or flower color and see multiple views of each specimen in high-resolution photos.



The digitization staff used high-resolution (80 megapixel) digital cameras to capture the fine details, like the stamen, on a small orchid flower. The team shot multiple angles of every plant then integrated the images into the collection, which includes more information about the piece (in this case, details such as species, area where it grows and common plant names).

Learn More About the Digitization Project and Collection

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.