The LIFE Archives


In 2008, the folks at LIFE got together with Google and made their extensive photo archives available to anyone browsing Google Images.

As Google said at the time, "This effort to bring offline images online was inspired by our mission to organize all the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. This collection of newly digitized images includes photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s. Only a very small percentage of these images have ever been published. The rest have been sitting in dusty archives in the form of negatives, slides, glass plates, etchings, and prints. We're digitizing them so that everyone can easily experience these fascinating moments in time. Today about 20 percent of the collection is online; during the next few months, we will be adding the entire LIFE archive — about 10 million photos."

Making good on their promise, LIFE has continued to release photos (such as this never-before-seen collection featuring JFK and create slide shows of intriguing images (like Weird Science in Action) on their homepage, where juxtaposing galleries of the Harry Potter kids, Hells Angels, Celebrity Plastic Surgery and Vietnam are all nestled together in photographic harmony.

So check out the offerings and let us know if you find any dusty gems hiding out in these digital back shelves! And see if you can explain what is happening in this photograph while you're at it ...