Google to present millions of photos from 'Life' archives

Move to make more than 10 million images from the magazine's archives will allow the public to see many never-before available photographs.

This photograph of then-Sen. John F. Kennedy and his brother, Robert Kennedy, was taken in April 1960 on the night of the Wisconsin presidential primary. The image is one of the millions of photos now available from Life's archives via Google. Life/Stan Wayman

Life magazine announced Tuesday that is is making more than 10 million of its archival photographs publicly available through a partnership with Google.

The archive includes many iconic images from throughout the 20th century taken by famous photographers like Gordon Parks, Margaret Bourke-White, and Dorothea Lange.

This 1936 image is of migrant worker Florence Thompson, taken in Nipomo, Calif. Another Lange photo of Thompson became one of the most iconic images of the Great Depression. Life/Dorothea Lange

Currently, many of the photos--searchable by keyword--are available through Google Image Search. And many more will be added in the coming months, Life said.

The project mirrors one introduced in January in which Flickr began hosting thousands of images from the U.S. Library of Congress as part of its "The Commons" initiative. Between the two different efforts, the public now has access to a wide range of photographs from the 20th century, many of which are among the most famous images of the century.

Life said that as many as 97 percent of the photographs it will make available have never been seen by the public before. These likely include shots taken at the same time as some of those that have become famous. An example is a photograph of migrant worker Florence Thompson in 1936 by Dorothea Lange that was clearly part of the same series of shots that produced what many would say is the single most famous image of the Great Depression, a close-up of Thompson with two of her children tucked into her shoulders. The newly available image shows a wider angle of the woman.

Click for more photos from the project

 

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