The Smithsonian Institution is creating searchable databases of digitized content from the museum and research complex. The archiving for those databases will begin with the content of Smithsonian and Air and Space magazines. Selected museum collections will follow, covering such topics as American history, science, world cultures and art.
Eventually, users will be able to search all the Smithsonian collections at once. The materials will be digitized by the Gale division of Kentucky-based Cengage Learning. Access to the databases will be sold to libraries, universities and research centers. In return, the Smithsonian will be paid royalties for the content.
Cengage's other content partners include the Library of Congress, the British Library, the National Archives, presidential libraries and National Geographic.