Interesting new effort from the Smithsonian. Terrific idea, but I have to say that on my first, quick foray into the site, it was very confusing.
From the International Visual Studies Assn mailing list:
Smithsonian Launches Online Photography Initiative: The Smithsonian’s 18 museums, nine research centers, and the National Zoo collectively preserve some 13 million photographs which now, thanks to the Smithsonian Photography Initiative, will begin to be made accessible to researchers online. The images found in some seven hundred collections throughout the Smithsonian are organized by museum and discipline…The Smithsonian Photography Initiative is devoted to the presentation and study of these photographic images, viewing photography as an art form, a record keeper, and a cross-disciplinary medium that encompasses science, history, popular culture, and more. Beyond offering more information about where to find photography collections throughout the Smithsonian, a new website aims to be an educational tool, serving anyone who wishes to study, explore, and enjoy photographs of many kinds. To view the website go to: http://www.spi.si.edu/ where you will be provided access to some 1,800 digital images, the work of 100 photographers, who used 50 different processes.