Google comes to Life: researching digital photographic archives
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When Google announced in November 2008 that it was to host online one of the world’s largest corpus of photographic images thanks to its collaboration with the Life magazine picture collection, it also said something, almost incidentally, about the state of the archive in the digital age. This essay examines the meeting between the archive and technology that the Google publicity announces by focusing on a relatively minor subset of the Life images digitised as a result of this partnership. It does so by foregrounding ‘user-builders’ and their roles in both making meaning from digital archives and making digital archives meaningful.
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