Browsing and Downloading Smithsonian CC0 Content

Luce Foundation CenterThis is here as a quick note to some faculty I am working with on courses that are (ideally) using open content. The Smithsonian announced that they were removing copyright restrictions to nearly 3 million from their collections. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.  You can read more about that on the Smithsonian Open Access page. But the question always comes up when an institution releases open content: how do we access it? The Smithsonian listed places in their FAQ but not everything in the list had a link. I have fixed that below:

You can find Smithsonian CC0 assets in the following places:

The CC0 license is a Creative Commons license that covers public domain – these materials are free to use in any way with no attribution. They do, however, provide the caveat that the CC0 only applies to copyright, so you may still need someone else’s permission to use a CC0-designated digital asset. For more information, see the Smithsonian Terms of Use. For instance, the Smithsonian may have an image of Dr. Martin Luther King, but his estate may have claims to the use of his image.

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