Addicted to the LIFE Photo Archive

Google's LIFE Photo Archive

Google is hosting a rare collection of mostly unpublished photos online from the Time LIFE vaults. They are intended for personal and research use only, but the sheer scope of the project is mind-blowing. This is apparently the largest photo scanning project in history. If what I’ve read is true, what you are about to witness is 10 million photographs, found in loose envelopes and tucked away in the vaults, by some of the most preeminent photojournalists of all time (Gjon Mili, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White, Ansel Adams).

Google's LIFE Photo Archive

Google's LIFE Photo Archive

The second most amazing thing about this project are the images themselves. (a quick tip, you can also add source:life to any normal Google image search to call on this inventory of images). With that in mind, I set out to find a nice assortment of images. These are obviously just the tip of the iceberg, but you can see what I’m getting at. It’s just, quite simply, inspiring.

Google's LIFE Photo Archive

I searched for “Directors at Work” and got a shot of Stanley Kubrick on the set of 2001 along with Jerome Robbins on the set of West Side Story. I searched for “Reflections” and found a shot of Neil Armstrong on the moon with the flag reflected in his visor next to a shot of Charlie Chaplin looking in the mirror in his dressing room. The scenarios go on and on, now get over there and try it for yourself!

View the LIFE Archive.

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