Inside the New York Times Morgue

Inside the New York Times Morgue

New York Times Lively MorgueOver the years, I seem to have picked up a reputation as being “anti-paper”[1]. Sometimes when I go to conferences or meet people and they hand me a piece of paper, they apologize. “I’m sorry, I know you hate paper…”

The truth is, I don’t hate paper at all. I am a big believer in digitizing as much as you can, and I am all about eliminating unneccessary paper, but there are some situations where paper is great, and (dare I say) even wonderful.

I read about one such situation in this great story by NPR about the New York Times morgue.

Two levels underneath Times Square, there are thousands of file cabinet drawers with newspaper clips and millions of photo prints, all organized in card catalogues (remember those?)

So can they just digitize it all?

As the The Lively Morgue site reads: “If we posted 10 new archival pictures every weekday on Tumblr, just from our print collection, we wouldn’t have the whole thing online until the year 3935.”

There is a great blog and Tumblr site where they are posting photos and stories from the archives. I highly recommend checking them and the NPR story out.

Can you imagine spending a day down there digging through the file cabinets? It would be fascinating.

Do you have any other examples of “I’d love to get lost there…” paper archives?

  1. I can’t imagine why…  ↩

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

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