26 November 2008

A tip for those using the LIFE photo archives

Many bloggers have been taking advantage of the fact that Google has placed online 10 million photos from the files of LIFE magazine.

I was surprised and a bit disappointed when I first used the archive, because the search engine would only retrieve a maximum of 200 images for any request. I have subsequently discovered a way to circumvent that restriction.

A search for "Minnesota" retrieves the max 200 images. Many of those are of sports teams. So I redo the search and subtract "vikings" - it still retrieves 200 images. Subtract "Twins" - still 200. Subtract "university" - still 200.

It's the same for any broad search. "President" retrieves only 200, but "president source:life -eisenhower -kennedy -nixon -ford -truman" also retrieves 200 photos.

It's a way to dig deeper into their archives.

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