LIFE, hosted by Google

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Kids discovering the glee of hula hoops. Movie star Audrey Hepburn. Man first landing on the moon. These iconic images and more can be easily found on Google, which is now hosting LIFE Magazine’s photo archives. Over 10 million images dating as far back as the 1750s are being lifted off of dusty pages, etchings, slides, negatives and sketches, and brought to you in digital Technicolor (at least that’s what it feels like — we’re definitely not in Kansas anymore), thanks to Google’s efforts.

You can search for specific topics such as Walt Disney or drive-in movie theaters.  Each image includes additional details, such as the photographer, location and date of the photo. When viewing photographs in the LIFE archive, clicking on an individual photo will take you to a full-screen, high resolution version. If you’re really smitten with an image, one click will let you purchase a framed print (just in time for the holidays).

You can begin your voyage through history by searching the LIFE photo archive, or by including “source:life” when searching Google Images to only search the LIFE archive. Time Inc, which owns LIFE Magazine’s contents, will also house the archives and more on LIFE.com, when the site launches next year.

This is yet another example of how Google is smartly bringing offline content to the web, by digitizing more information (they started scanning microfilm to digitize newspapers earlier this year) and making it easier for everyone to search and experience a moment in time, “whether it be an hour ago, a century ago, or any moment in between.” Funny thing, though — searching for “McCain source:life” brings up a whole lot of results (about 25 in 0.04 seconds) but there are zero results so far for the query “Obama source:life.”

Looks like Life’s going to have to catch up.


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