On February 25, 2020, the Smithsonian launched Open Access, releasing 2.8 million 2D and 3D images and 173-years of staff-created data into the public domain as Creative Commons Zero. Open Access furthers the Smithsonian’s mission which has been the same since its founding in 1846: for the "increase and diffusion of knowledge."
The Open Access API was released as part of the launch allowing you to connect to the 2.8 million "open access” collections and corresponding metadata. This is a CC0 subset of the Smithsonian’s 155 million objects, 2.1 million library volumes and 156,000 cubic feet of archival collections held in 19 museums, 9 research centers, libraries, archives and the National Zoo. Digitization of collections is ongoing.