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LIFE magazine puts all its images online

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-12-09

Iconic US magazine LIFE has decided to put over 10 million images, representing all of its archive, online at Google images. According to TIME Inc., LIFE's parent company, 97% of the images have never been shown to the public before.

Time Inc. announced on Tuesday that Google was putting online the entire collection of photos from the legendary but now defunct LIFE magazine, including some of the most iconic images of the 20th century.

Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi reading as he sits cross-legged on the floor next to a spinning wheel which looms in the foreground as a symbol of India’s struggle for independence at home. Copyright 2008 Time Inc. Photo by Margaret Bourke-White LIFE

Time said access to LIFE's photo archive, a total of more than 10 million images, would be available on a new hosted service from the Internet search giant at

The images from LIFE, a Time subsidiary, can also be found by conducting a search on or through Google Image Search.

The collection includes pictures from renowned photojournalists such as Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White, Gordon Parks and W. Eugene Smith.

Actress Marilyn Monroe posing at home in her backyard. Hollywood, CA. Copyright 2008 Time Inc. Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt for LIFE

The LIFE photo archive also includes the Zapruder film of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, The Mansell Collection from London and Hugo Jaeger's pictures of Nazi-era Germany from 1937-1944.

Time said 97 percent of the photographs have never been seen by the public.

"Millions of images have been scanned and made available on Google Image Search today with all 10 million images to be available in the coming months," Time said in a statement.

"LIFE will now reach a broader audience and engage them online with the incredible depth and breadth of the LIFE Photo Archive from serious world events, to Hollywood celebrities to whimsical photographs." LIFE president Andy Blau said.

R.J. Pittman, director of product management at Google, said "bringing millions of never-before-seen offline images online aligns with Google's mission to organize all the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

Time said the photos are available for free for personal and research purposes. The copyright and ownership of all images remains with Time.

In September, Time and the Getty Images photo service announced the launch early next year of a new website,, featuring photos from the LIFE archives and Getty Images.

Date created : 2008-11-19