The New York Times will Digitize its Photo Archive

This may turn out to be a gold mine for historians and genealogists alike. The New York Times is planning to digitize more than a century’s worth of photographs, and it is going to use Google Cloud to do so.

The plan is to digitize MILLIONS of images — some dating back to the late nineteenth century — to ensure they can be accessed by generations to come. The digitization process will also prove useful for journalists who will be able to delve into the archives far more easily in future.

Until now, historic news articles and photos have been stored on microfilm and in other physical forms. This is not only difficult to catalog and navigate, but also prone to deterioration over time and through use.

Brian Stevens, Chief Technical Officer of Google Cloud, stated:

“Google Cloud technologies like Cloud Storage, Cloud Pub/Sub, and Cloud Vision API are helping to preserve this priceless history and give journalists a new way to search, access, and analyze millions of historic photos and give them new life. Cloud technology is allowing The Times to protect one of their most unique assets migrating from steel filing cabinets to a cloud-based platform where journalists can bring visual storytelling to a whole new level.”

You can read more in an article by Mark Wycislik-Wilson in the BetaNews web site at: https://betanews.com/2018/11/09/new-york-times-google-cloud/.

One Comment

This is actually a really big deal if they are going to digitize all the photos from a story, including the ones not published. The article doesn’t specify.. When a photographer covers an event usually only one or two of his photos makes the paper. But he will burn through a roll or two of film to get those one or two shots that gets published. Those will be of other people, street scenes, crowd scenes, buildings. A lot of the photos will also be multiple shots of the same person or building. Different angles and expressions. The paper will choose the one they like the best.We’ll be glad for what they post, but hope they post the whole file, not just the story photo.

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