LIFE magazine and I are suffering from a similar issue. We both had thousands of unpublished lonely images never-to-be seen because they were sitting in dusty archives. Unlike the digital images we've been capturing over the past five or so years that we've been posting and sharing those photos we captured pre-digital have been neglected. Sadly, these images may never have the opportunity to experience the same glory as their digital counterparts.
But, now, I have just learned that LIFE magazine’s photos will have a shot at glory as shared during a recent announcement about the availability of never-before-seen images from the LIFE photo archive. This will bring offline images online as part of Google’s mission to organize all the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. This collection of newly-digitized images includes photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s. As captured in the story featured in the Official Google Blog the collection includes The Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination; The Mansell Collection from London; Dahlstrom glass plates of New York and environs from the 1880s; and the entire works left to the collection from LIFE photographers. The images have been digitized so that everyone can easily experience these fascinating moments in time.
As I read this I thought, what about the rest of us who aren’t partnering with Google and want to digitally capture our moments in time? Are we destined to spend countless hours scanning every picture or digitally photographing them all? What about histories of museums, monuments, schools who are digital photo immigrants with images collected before the age of digital? Will their stories be left in forgotten archives due to this overwhelming task? I mean, LIFE only had a very small percentage of their images published pre-Google partnership. How can the rest of us people and places share our important images?
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Innovative educators heads must be spinning with possibilities about what this could mean. For about $5 a student a teacher could work with his/her students to collect and digitize about 40 photos each from their family ancestry. A school could send in all their photo memorabilia and capture their digital history. And, of course, how about the idea of connecting student or school ancestry with historical events in the LIFE photo archive? Let the words straight from their site inspire you!
Welcome to the future home of LIFE.com, the most amazing collection of professional photography on the Web: 10 million photos from the legendary archives of LIFE magazine and thousands more added every day. Whatever you want to look at, whether it happened an hour ago, a century ago, or any time in between, you'll be able to find it here quickly, easily, and for free.
How fantastic is this? Students being able to connect their histories, their family histories, their school's history and more, to major historical events. What was happening the day you were born? Started school? The day your parents met or graduated high school? The possibilities Innovative educators have for helping their students create new, meaningful, and connected digital footprints have now become even more vast.