Smithsonian Leads Digital Collaboration On American Art

The American Art Collective is an effort of 14 different museums, led by the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, to create a digital repository of American art.  The Collective is in the midst of a nine-month planning phase to determine the vision for the Collective and develop a road map of how to realize that vision.

Think of the Collective as the art equivalent of the Digital Public Library of America. Once the Collective is operational, researching art information that may be separated will become much easier.  One could examine everything about a particular portrait in one location and check out what is available about the artist, though that information might be in a different location in another state.

While developing the technical infrastructure is an important part of this project, another critical part is tagging the collection with Linked Open Data (LOD).  Not commonly done with art information, using LOD makes it possible to link related items without a relational database.

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