The New York Times has launched a new Tumblr called “The Lively Morgue,” which is dedicated to publishing several photographs each week from its archive and giving the public access to its wealth of historical riches. Picture editors have been digging through its photo archive and picking out images that catch their eye. Some will be available for purchase and some will be accompanied by a detailed back story on its Lens blog.
Photos posted on “The Lively Morgue” will also include an image of the reverse side so viewers can see the notations on the back. These provide information about how often the photo was used, in what context and at what size, the information provided by the photographer and the information that made it into the published caption. Tumblr will enable the Times to gradually digitize its huge photo archive, which contains millions of images:
Our best guess is five million to six million prints and contact sheets (each sheet, of course, representing many discrete images) and 300,000 sacks of negatives, ranging in format size from 35 millimeter to 5 by 7 inches — at least 10 million frames in all. The picture archive also includes 13,500 DVDs, each storing about 4.7 gigabytes worth of imagery.
However, they say that even if they posted 10 pictures every day just from their print collection, it wouldn’t all be online until the year 3935!