Fabulous Resource for Bloggers, Artists, Educators: Smithsonian Releases 2.8 Million Free Images for Broader Public Use

“Open access is a milestone for the Smithsonian in our efforts to reach, educate and inspire audiences,” said Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III. “Through this initiative, we are empowering people across the globe to reimagine and repurpose our collections in creative new ways.”

The Smithsonian has launched Smithsonian Open Access, an initiative that removes Smithsonian copyright restrictions from about 2.8 million of its digital collection images and nearly two centuries of data. This means that people everywhere can now download, transform and share this open access content for any purpose, for free, without further permission from the Smithsonian.

Among museums and cultural institutions, this is the largest and most interdisciplinary open access program to date. The Smithsonian will continue to add items on an ongoing basis, with more than 3 million images designated as open access by late 2020.

“Open access is a milestone for the Smithsonian in our efforts to reach, educate and inspire audiences,” said Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III. “Through this initiative, we are empowering people across the globe to reimagine and repurpose our collections in creative new ways.”

The Smithsonian Open Access content includes high-resolution 2D and 3D images of collection items, as well as research datasets and collections metadata, which users can download and access in bulk. All of the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives and the National Zoo contributed images or data to this launch. The program includes content across the arts, sciences, history, culture, technology and design, from portraits of historic American figures to 3D scans of dinosaur skeletons.

The Apollo 11 Command Module, Columbia, carried astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins to the Moon and back on the first lunar landing mission in July, 1969 / Source Smithsonian under CCO license

Previously, the Smithsonian made more than 4.7 million collection images available online for personal, non-commercial and educational use. Now, with Smithsonian Open Access, nearly 3 million of those images carry a Creative Commons Zero designation, which waives the Institution’s copyright and permits a greater variety of uses, both commercial and non-commercial, without the need for Smithsonian permission or payment.

“Open access exemplifies the Smithsonian’s core mission: the ‘increase and diffusion’ of knowledge our institution has fostered for nearly 175 years,” said John Davis, interim director of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, who led the initiative from its inception. “With Smithsonian Open Access, we’re inviting people everywhere to make that knowledge their own––to share and build on our digital collections for everything from creative works, to education and scholarly research, to bold innovations we have yet to imagine.”

The Smithsonian is joined in this launch by collaborators using the Institution’s open access collections to create original works and discover new insights:

  • Artist Amy Karle used a 3D scan of a Triceratops skeleton from the National Museum of Natural History to create nine sculptures that explore the impact of technology on evolution.
  • Google Arts & Culture applied machine learning to the entire Smithsonian collections dataset to uncover connections between early women scientists at the Smithsonian and their life’s work.
  • Creators of the children’s book series “AstroNuts”––author Jon Scieszka and illustrator Steven Weinberg––produced a free, downloadable booklet showing K–12 students how to remix Smithsonian Open Access images for their own projects.
  • Georgetown University Library’s Maker Hub challenged students to create projects––from textiles to electronics to artworks––based on the Smithsonian Open Access collections.
  • Open access also makes Smithsonian content available via Creative Commons, Google Arts & Culture, Wikipedia and other digital platforms, increasing the reach and impact of these collections.

“The Smithsonian launched open access with new platforms to give the public ready access to our trusted collections and data,” said Effie Kapsalis, the Smithsonian senior digital program officer, who managed and guided implementation of the program. “We are excited to see how people worldwide use this dataset, which represents nearly two centuries of interdisciplinary research, to understand and solve today’s challenges.”

The Smithsonian Open Access launch event is presented in partnership with Google Arts & Culture. Data hosting is provided by Amazon Web Services Public Dataset Program.

Visit HERE to browse the Smithsonian Open Access collections and learn more.

THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION was founded in 1846 with a bequest from British scientist James Smithson (1765–1829) to found at Washington an establishment for “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoological Park.

The Smithsonian’s collections document the nation’s history and heritage and represent the world’s natural and cultural diversity. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, including more than 146 million scientific specimens and artifacts at the National Museum of Natural History.

Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!


For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

“Thoughts” by Myra Viola Wilds; the Internet Archive; Public Domain Day, January 30, 2020

Myra Viola Wilds / Public Domain

“A copy of each verse I retain in my own handwriting, after this, they are copied in a book by my husband. I beg your kind consideration of the plain, simple verses herein: I do not seek Wealth, Fame or Place, ‘among the great ones of my race.’ ” Myra Viola Wilds in her Preface to Thoughts in Idle Hours, 1915

What kind of thoughts now, do you carry
In your travels day by day
Are they bright and lofty visions,
Or neglected, gone astray?

Matters not how great in fancy,
Or what deeds of skill you’ve wrought;
Man, though high may be his station,
Is no better than his thoughts.

Catch your thoughts and hold them tightly,
Let each one an honor be;
Purge them, scourge them, burnish brightly,
Then in love set each one free.

– Myra Viola Wilds

Poem-a-Day (Academy of American Poets) published this poem, which is in the public domain. I’d never heard of the poet so I went on a hunt. She’s a folksy poet and there’s nothing significant to be found online. Her book is not included in the Gutenberg Project, but it is included HERE in the Internet Archive.  If you haven’t explored this wonderful site, you must.

Good resource for poets, writers, researchers.

The Internet Archive “is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, the print disabled, and the general public. Our mission is to provide Universal Access to All Knowledge.

“We began in 1996 by archiving the Internet itself, a medium that was just beginning to grow in use. Like newspapers, the content published on the web was ephemeral – but unlike newspapers, no one was saving it. Today we have 20+ years of web history accessible through the Wayback Machine and we work with 625+ library and other partners through our Archive-It program to identify important web pages.” MORE


Details on Public Domain Day HERE / Courtesy of the Internet Archive

Poetry Rocks the World!

Jamie DedesAbout /Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium Ko-fi

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.



For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

The Medium Platform, May Be a Good Place to Display Your Work – First Impressions from Karen Fayeth and Jamie Dedes

Medium.com logo / Public Domain

“Medium taps into the brains of the world’s most insightful writers, thinkers, and storytellers to bring you the smartest takes on topics that matter. So whatever your interest, you can always find fresh thinking and unique perspectives.” Medium About

Karen Fayeth (Oh Fair New Mexico) and I have been playing on Medium for about six weeks or so, checking it out and – each for our own reasons – are reservedly pleased. This is a online publishing platform started in 2012 by Evan Williams, former chairman and CEO of Twitter. It offers the opportunity to share “stories.”  They don’t say “posts.” These stories can be poems, flash fiction, fiction, creative nonfiction, opinion pieces and so forth. Today, we share our first impressions of Medium. We do plan to continue our experiments with Medium, at least for awhile. Should you decide to come along for the ride, do follow us so that we can follow you. / J.D.

First Impressions: Karen Fayeth (Oh Fair New Mexico and Karen on Medium)

I have been blogging since 2007 so going over to Medium felt at first like giving up a lot of control. The more I use the site, the more I have come to appreciate the ease of creating, editing and posting stories. They are doing all the management and maintenance of the site and I can just write. That is pretty cool.

That said, Medium does work in many ways like a social media site. By that I mean you  have to have plenty of followers and claps to get your work seen, and I don’t have a particularly large network. In the early days, Jamie was kind enough to give me a boost via her network, which is robust, and I’m grateful for the reads and comments. I’m slowly building my own network via reading and commenting on stories. I’ve also befriended some wonderful writers on the platform.

There are some writers who make a lot of money on Medium, and it’s easy to get caught up in feeling like I have to be at that level. There are lots and lots of stories on the site about how to make money on Medium and I did find myself feeling anxious, as though I had to write as often as they did and I had to make as much money as they did, and if I didn’t I was a failure. I’m a lot more sanguine now as there is NO WAY I can hold down a full time job and write 2 or 3 posts a day.

Now about the money, in the three months so far, the most I have made in a single month is $7.46. One might say that is a pittance, but to me, I’m actually getting paid to write. It’s small but it’s something.

During the week of November 17th, I challenged myself to write a post every day and while it was a lot of fun it was also a lot of hard work. As expected some of the stories did better than others.

I did try using a service that drives clicks to a link for one of my stories to see if sheer volume of clicks would help. That post has 550 clicks but only 35 reads, so it has made a grand total of .08. The earnings model really does depend on Medium users clicking the link and reading the story.

So to sum it all up, I would say I’m still learning and I’m cautiously optimistic.

KAREN FAYETH: Raised most of my life in New Mexico, my job brought me to Northern California. I don’t usually identify myself as a Californian, simply a New Mexican living in California. In the first couple years after moving, I distanced myself from my home state thinking it backward and remote. Then I began to visit home more frequently and truly learned a love for my home state that only comes by gaining perspective. I’m a writer, a crafter, a photographer and labor at a “real job” during the days.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day, The BeZine, and Jamie on Medium)

My focus is a bit different than Karen’s. I’m in search of platforms where I can have my say. I’m considering Spillwords and a few others as well. These for myself and on behalf of both off-and-online friends who post their poems on Facebook but are looking for somewhere more visually appealing to collect and showcase their work for access by others. These are folks who don’t want the burden or expense of a blog.

Medium might be ideal:

  1. It is in effect a minimalist blogging platform, easy and intuitive to use.
  2. Everything is maintained. No work on your part.
  3. No advertising. No clutter.

Other pros depending on what you are looking for:

  1. Ability to social network, if inclined.
  2. Potential to earn back your monthly $5 USD investment. I’d say posting poetry is not going to net much. Payments are based on time it takes to read. Poems will net you a few cents each. So far for November, I’ve earned $2.69. That’s with a couple of short stories thrown in.
  3. You get a “friends link” to go with each “story.” You can use your friends link in texts and emails and on Facebook, Twitter, or other micro-blogging and social media networks.

Possible Cons:

  1. Medium uses Strip for payments, which may work in counties where you haven’t been able to take advantage of opportunities that make payments via PayPal. You’ll have to do your homework on that. Neither PayPal nor Strip is available everywhere around the world.
  2. If as I am you are already heavily networking elsewhere, Medium might be just a bit too much of an addition.

You are able to register and feature your poems on Medium without a paying membership. They won’t be shared among Medium community members. Unlike Twitter, however, readers don’t have to be registered to read and folks outside the Medium Community can view your work whether or not you are a paying member.


Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications:  Jamie Dedes, Versifier of Truth, Womawords Literary Press, November 19, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton


UNESCO Conference on the safety of female journalists in the digital sphere; PEN.org Artists at Risk Connection

Emblem of the United Nations / Public Domain

“Attacks on women journalists represent a clear challenge to SDG 5 on gender equality, and to SDG 16.10 which calls for public access to information and fundamental freedoms (and has an indicator specifically on safety of journalists)” UNESCO

“The increase in attacks against female journalists and the specific threats faced by women journalists, including sexual harassment and violence, both online and offline, is a growing concern. With countless victims of violence and intimidation, there is a pressing need to explore new ways to reinforce the safety of women journalists on the ground.

“UNESCO has a leadership role in the implementation of the UN Plan of Action for the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. The General Conference at its 39th session invited the Director-General to reinforce activities aimed at addressing the specific threats to the safety of women journalists, both online and offline. The event is a Member State-driven initiative, in close cooperation with the UNESCO Secretariat.”

A conference on the safety of female journalists in the digital sphere, Mobilizing against online harassment of women journalists — What solutions?, will take place at UNESCO Headquarters on 18 June (3-6 p.m.).

Female journalists are three time more likely than their male colleagues to be targets of attacks, humiliations or threats online. UNESCO is seeking ways to respond to the upsurge in violence that threatens the profession by bringing together journalists, political decision-makers, lawyers and media professionals to examine the issues involved at the conference.

Several women journalists from different parts of the world will share their experiences to illustrate how cyber attacks seek to undermine their work, the dangers harassment poses to freedom of expression, and envisage ways to tackle the problem.

The event is organized at the initiative of several Member States of the Group of Friends for the Safety of Journalists at UNESCO.

As the lead agency in the implementation of the United Nations Action Plan for the Safety of Journalists, UNESCO is combating the worrying rise in attacks on journalists, particularly women. These attacks do not only threaten the fundamental right of access to information but also the right of women to exercise their professional activities in a safe and decent environment.

Programme and more

People wishing to attend the event are invited to contact Saorla McCabe, Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development, s.mccabe@unesco.org(link sends e-mail); +33 (0)145680962

PEN America nonprofit logo under fair use


PEN.org’s ARC is a collaboration of artistic freedom organizations worldwide. It serves artists of all disciplines: visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, performance artists, writers, and other individuals who produce significant creative output in any medium. Assistance is quite diversified.  Details HERE.


“ARC is a collaborative project led by PEN America, which has been committed to protecting open expression in the United States and worldwide since 1922. PEN America, a champion of the freedom to write, stands at the intersection of literature and human rights. It is the largest of more than 140 centers of PEN International.

“ARC serves as a hub for freedom of expression and artistic freedom organizations worldwide, networking together to support artists at risk. Visit Our Network page to see some of our key partners worldwide or go directly to our Find Help page to search our network database.”


Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton