LIFE and Google bring us 10 million historic images

LIFE and Google have teamed up to put 10,000,000 historic images online -- about 20 percent of the images are live now. The Disneyland images are great -- here's the old Submarine Ride. LIFE photo archive hosted by Google (Thanks, Neil and Slashdot!)


  1. Ooh… I can see myself losing hours in this, and the 1280 x 1280 maximum resolution is pretty decent considering the (growing) size of the archive. It’s as thrilling as when I found Shorpy: History in HD, another great collection of old photography, and where there’s even some early tech to be discovered.

  2. This is very cool. Now, if they could just sort out the licensing…

    (I see them claiming copyright on all of it, even pics from over a century ago).

  3. So, those 150-year-old public domain photos are “© Time Inc.” now? I don’t think so. And can’t even liberate them directly because there’s a nice fat trademarked “LIFE” logo plastered over the images. This stinks.

    Sure, we’re thankful for every little morsel of corporate-sponsored re-branded history that is thrown at us for free.

    A little less useless, please? Not defaced by a trademark? And without the looming threat of bogus copyright claims? Give us the real images, or let them rot in your archives. But don’t hold our culture for ransom. It’s ours. There’s simply no excuse for withholding the original scans.

  4. Photos all the way back to the 1860’s! How cool is that? Didn’t even realize Life magazine had been around that long.

    You know what would make this total awesomeness? Creative Commons.

  5. This is a really amazing photo archive. I just spent like 30 minutes going through some of the photos around the time of the Civil War, and some of them blew my mind. Props to Google and Life, I’ll have to check out the other albums when I get home.

  6. Including one from 1942:

    … of my father (upper right, sitting on the radiator) and Richard Nixon (at the bottom of the picture – you can make out his jowl line). They’re part of a group of lawyers from the Office of Price Administration (OPA) working on rationing rules.

  7. I didn’t recognize it at first, but then as soon as I read the description, my time in the Disney submarine time came flooding back.

  8. How does one suggest changes to captions for these photos? Just at random I chose to look at 1970s Nixon photos (I’m old) and there are several, even many, that are of George Romney not Richard Nixon. How useful is that for current and future generations?

  9. Redmonkey, fret not: Disneyland has resurrected the Submarine Voyage, and it now features new technology with Nemo, Dory, and friends. Dive! Dive!

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