Google Make Life Magazine Photo Archives Available to the Public

November 18th, 2008 at 12:00 am

google life photo archive

LIFE Magazine is an American photo-journal of the world.  The Publication began way back in the 1750’s and has amassed more than 10 million photographs documenting significant events in history as well as daily life as it progressed.  Today, those photographs are brought online by Google.

Only a very small percentage of these images have ever been published. The rest have been sitting in dusty archives in the form of negatives, slides, glass plates, etchings, and prints. We’re digitizing them so that everyone can easily experience these fascinating moments in time. Today about 20 percent of the collection is online; during the next few months, we will be adding the entire LIFE archive – about 10 million photos. [Official Google Blog]

The works of master photographers Alfred Eisenstaedt and Margaret Bourke-White are included in the archive.  Their works document the pivotal events in history as well as gives us a glimpse into the evolution of fashion and lifestyles throughout the years.

The archive can be accessed through its own subpage here, or by simply adding ‘source:life’ to any query on the Google search bar.  The LIFE sub page categorizes photos chronologically and is also searchable via a search bar.  The photos are available in monitor friendly resolution and full size resolution.

Google has been adding archives from different sources for some time now.  First they added the Library of Congress images, then they added the News Archive where they scanned newspapers and read its content via OCR.  Any which way, Google’s addition of the LIFE archive will ultimately give us all better search results.