Paul Melcher's selection
Usually photography dies in filling cabinets or obsolete hard drives. They might resurface one day when their original owners pass away and a pair a fresh eyes happens to discover them . Or they can be discarded entirely.
There are many stories of bankrupt publications whose archives have ended up in dumpsters for lack of interest. Often, it is not such a great loss as the images where of not much interest. Other times, national treasures are being discarded to never be seen again.
The New York Times has chosen not to let that happen. In fact, it has decided to take their archives out of its dusty chambers and promote them as photographs of the present. They chose Tumblr as a platform to promote those images. If you need to know, Tumblr is a fashionable blog platform, part of the must have tools of any social media conscious company as it allows for easy publishing and sharing.
It is also easy to share items from one Tumblr blog to another or for people to follow each new entry creating a community around your posts. It is also very sober and photography friendly.
The New York Times, also called the Old Lady, decided to call there Tumblr blog, The Lively Morgue. Why ? Probably because they felt they were showing dead pictures for the last time. There is not much shown along with the published photographs. Just a brief caption and credit. Shown also is the back of the print. Why ? Because in the old days of print, all the comments, including captions and publication dates were inscribed on the back of the print. Since this is not fine art, it is doubtful you will ever see printing or masking instructions. Those images were used as is and did not require deep darkroom alterations.
Nevertheless, it is an exciting addition to the already strong New York Times offering. It allows for everyone to see images they had never seen before and discover historical events they previously ignored. Since it is free to browse ( they intend to make money on the sale of prints), it becomes an enjoyable addition to the photography browsing experience.