8 of the most awesome images in the Smithsonian Open Access library

Home to no fewer than 19 museums, Washington DC's Smithsonian Institution has a vast collection of all kinds of art and historical artefacts. Over the last two years, it's been sharing digitised images of some of its treasures in a free open access online library that's now grown from 2.5m assets in 2020 to a massive 4.4m pieces including everything from postage stamps and portraits to 3D models. 

Considering the breadth of the Smithsonian's collections, there's something for everyone. As well as its museums, the Smithsonian is also home to the US National Zoo, nine research centres and vast archives (hence while it makes it to our pick of the best online art galleries) so everyone from artists to graphic designers and even scientists should find something of interest.

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Joe Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news, features and buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment and software for creatives, from video editing programs to monitors and accessories. A veteran news writer and photographer, he now works as a project manager at the London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives. There he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing visual content and design assets for the hospitality sector. He also dances Argentine tango.