New York Times opens the Lively Morgue, a Tumblr for the ages

The new Tumblr blog features historic photos from the iconic newspaper dating back to 1896.

The New York Times has just opened up a morgue, and its subjects look beautiful.

The Lively Morgue is a new Tumblr from the Times that features historic photos from the newspaper of record dating back to 1896.

The photo archive is filled with “five million to six million prints and contact sheets (each sheet, of course, representing many discrete images) and 300,000 sacks of negatives, ranging in format size from 35 millimeter to 5 by 7 inches — at least 10 million frames in all,” wrote the Times.

The newspaper plans on publishing a few photos each week, some with an extensive back story featured on its Lens blog and others with captions.

Why is the blog called the “Lively Morgue?” The Times explains:

The Times’s picture library was originally part of the art department, not the news department. Once it was consolidated with the newsroom clipping file, however, it came to be called the morgue. Explanations differ as to the origins of that name, but it’s safe to say that the clippings were originally biographical and kept close at hand in case a subject dropped dead around deadline, requiring an instant obituary. Whatever the case, any morgue that includes a bus-sized, helium-filled Bullwinkle hovering over Times Square is a very lively morgue indeed.

All photos and captions from the New York Times

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