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 We both had thousands of unpublished lonely images never-to-be seen because they were sitting in dusty archives.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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