LIFE photo archive and Google


This is another great (archive) opportunity coming from LIFE and Google. LIFE magazine, and its subsequent book publications using archived photographs, has been providing a wonderful historical record for a long time. It is now easier than ever to use the the LIFE resources.They have now made available millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive. These stretch back from today to the 1750s. Most were never published and are now available for the first time here. I love to have images to help illustrate ideas and a point I might be making. Now it is easy for me to find some great (documentary) images from more than a century ago to today. The earliest images are of the American Civil War but they become more global as the decades progress.

There are some very poignant images from WWI and WWII and, in the 1950’s, Melbourne gets quite a “look in”, due to the Olympics. These photos say a lot about the times in which they were taken as well as the moment caught in camera. A great starting point for writing, commentary on people and places in history and can be used in so many different educational settings.


The results screen shows thumbnails and once you find the one you want, click on it to see the full size image. You get the basic details about the photograph, related images and liked tags assigned to that particular photo.


There is a post on the Google blog and an AP article. According to the AP article,about the new service, “The photos can be printed out for free as long as they aren’t being used as part of an attempt to make money.” From the blog, “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. Be sure to check back often as more photos from the LIFE archive will be added regularly to Google Image Search.”

Below is an unusual map, made from burlap, to instruct fliers about the terrain they would fly over. No such thing as a digital/virtual tour.