The Princeton University Art Museum has embarked on an ambitious project to photograph and inventory its entire collection. When the inventory is completed, the museum will have a searchable database available to museum staff, and over time, records and images of the objects will be made available to the public.  

The museum was feeling increasing pressure to digitize. “Princeton University students expect to be able to see the entire collection online in their pajamas in their dorm rooms at 2 o’clock in the morning,” said Maureen McCormick, the museum’s chief registrar.   


72,000: Number of objects in the ­collection (many never photographed previously or included in an ­electronic database)

2006: Year that planning began

$2.5 million: Estimated cost

4: Years the project is expected to take

6: Temporary staff members to be hired