Smithsonian Collections Blog

Highlighting the hidden treasures from over 2 million collections

Collections Search Center

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Future is Today

Every day, as librarians, archivists, and museum professionals at the Smithsonian, we consider our presence in the virtual world. We digitize books and photographs, scan entire archival collections, and produce digital copies of artworks, all toward enhancing and increasing online content for the public. We are engaged with virtual visitors through many social media outlets, including this blog. But still, we never stop being challenged by these two questions—how do we meet the needs of today’s users? How do we anticipate the needs of tomorrow’s users?

Ten years ago, a single search for all collections at the Smithsonian was a mere pipe dream. Today it is a reality as more and more Smithsonian collections are added to this single search. Consider the Smithsonian Collections Search Center your own virtual library, archive and museum. Find related objects and artifacts that aren’t on display in the brick and mortar museum, share them with your friends on Facebook or tweet about them on Twitter (hint: use the share button to share a single record or a set of records). You can build your own virtual Smithsonian.

Do you want to know more about how libraries and museums envision the future? Check out this recent article in The New Republic.

Pictured is The Library (1960) by Jacob Lawrence in the collection of the American Art Museum.

Nicole Semenchuk, Research and Scholars Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum

No comments:

Post a Comment