Günter Waibel is Director of the Digitization Program Office at the Smithsonian Institution, where he oversees policy and strategy for digitizing Smithsonian collections, and the implementation of the strategic plan “Creating a Digital Smithsonian.” With 139 million objects and specimens housed in 41 facilities, the scale and diversity of Smithsonian collections presents a unique digitization challenge. A particular focus of the Digitization Program Office is to scale up throughput of digitization at the Smithsonian, as well as the implementation of cutting-edge 3D technologies. The recent launch of Smithsonian X 3D (3d.si.edu) brings 20+ Smithsonian treasurers to the public as interactive 3D models, and allows download of 3D data for 3D printing.
Günter’s prior work experience was as a Program Officer for RLG and OCLC Research, as well as Digital Media Developer at the UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive and Webmaster for the Oakland Museum of California. Günter is a past board member of the Museum Computer Network (MCN) and the Association of American Museum’s (AAM) Media & Technology Committee. He has taught as adjunct faculty in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, New York, and the School of Library and Information Science at Catholic University of America, Washington DC. He has an MA in English Literature from Georgetown University