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'Lively Morgue': Inside the Archival Photo Collection of the New York Times

5/08/2012 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

Print archives that were once the heart of many newspapers have gone the way of the floppy disk. But at the New York Times, home to the Lively Morgue tumblr, the technology that has threatened to kill the morgue may also save it.

 How many? We don’t know. 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. When the Museum of Modern Art set out to exhibit the highlights of the Times archive in 1996, it dispatched four curators. They spent nine months poring over 3,000 subjects, working with two Times editors, one of whom spent a year on the project. In the end, they estimated that they’d seen only one-quarter of the total.

If we posted 10 new archival pictures every weekday on Tumblr, just from our print collection, we wouldn’t have the whole thing online until the year 3935. (By David W. Dunlap)

During a visit to The Times in 1959, Marilyn Monroe inspected news clippings in the morgue, accompanied by Lester Markel, center, the Sunday editor.
© The New York Times
Watch the "Lively Morgue": HERE

Information about the "Liveyly Morgue" and how to read the back side: HERE

by Tumblr