Saturday, October 17, 2015

Flooding Threatens The Times’s Picture Archive

Flooding Threatens The Times’s Picture Archive. David W. Dunlap. New York Times. October 12, 2015.
     A broken pipe sent water cascading into the storage area where The Times keeps its collection of historical photos, newspaper clippings, microfilm records, books and other archival material. About 90 percent of the affected photos would be salvageable, but how many were lost remains unknown. The card catalog was not damaged; otherwise it would be impossible to locate materials in the archive. "What makes the card catalog irreplaceable is that it has never been digitized. Hundreds of thousands of people and subjects are keyed by index numbers to the photo files, which contain an estimated six million prints and contact sheets." This "raised the question of how in the digital age... can some of the company’s most precious physical assets and intellectual property be safely and reasonably stored?"

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