It’s official, Google is hosting the LIFE photo archive at

From the blog, “The Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination; The Mansell Collection from London; Dahlstrom glass plates of New York and environs from the 1880s; and the entire works left to the collection from LIFE photographers Alfred Eisenstaedt, Gjon Mili, and Nina Leen. These are just some of the things you’ll see in Google Image Search today.

We’re excited to announce the availability of never-before-seen images from the LIFE photo archive. 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.”

What an amazing venture from an amazing company.  This digital collection will be a treasure for educators, history buffs, and pop culture junkies alike.  Utilizing Google is a great way to get this information out to the masses.  No library would have the time and resources needed to put this together by itself, it’s amazing to think what might be done if Google and various libraries and consortia teamed up to release heretofore unpublished materials.