Yale’s digitizing collection and some quick math

Yale recently announced they are going to scan and post very high res images of their “collections of art, natural history, books, and maps, as well as photos, audio, and video documenting people, places, and events that form part of Yale’s institutional identity and contribution to scholarship”.

There’s 250,000 images out there already to start with, but there are 12,000,000 items left to scan. (And all of this is supposedly coming from only ONE of their museum collections!)

Assuming they’re going to scan 15 pieces an hour on a high-end scanner, that means it’s going to take 800,000 hours to scan 12 million pieces.

Scanning 15 pieces an hour for 8 hours a day straight will take 100,000 days.

100,000 days divided by 365 days in a year would make it a 273 year job… for for one person.

Add 99 more people scanning at the same rate and the entire 12 million piece archive can be done in 2.7 years.

That is a LOT of artwork left to scan.

The main search window for the Yale collection is here. A sample list view of what is already online is here.