In 2005 the Terra Foundation and the Smithsonian Archives of American Art set out to create an unparalleled virtual repository of source material for the study of the visual arts of the United States. One of our earliest grant recipients, the Archives received a multi-million-dollar award to develop a digitization program that would deliver free online access to a substantial cross-section of the Archives’ most significant collections. These funds enabled Archives staff to:
- Establish an innovative, archival approach to large-scale digitization,
- Design and program the technical infrastructure and public-facing website,
- Arrange and process collections, and
- Manage the resulting digital repository of more than 1.5 million digital files.
Six years later, the Terra Foundation awarded a second multi-million dollar grant to support another five years of digitization and establish a new position, the Terra Foundation Project Manager for Online Scholarly and Educational Initiative, to anticipate and respond to new digital modes of learning, scholarship, curatorship and reference, and engage and familiarize growing audiences worldwide with the Archives’ unique holdings.