Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Collector pays newspapers millions to digitize vintage photos

For many newspapers, digitizing decades of photo archives is important, but not urgent; always a goal, but never a priority; a great idea, but a huge expense. That’s why so many editors over the last few years have been so eager to do business with John Rogers, a collector from Little Rock, Arkansas.

In 2008, Rogers paid $1.62 million for a Honus Wagner baseball card.  The next year, he began proving to the newspaper industry that he was equally serious about acquiring vintage photographs when he struck a deal to buy up the archives of the Detroit News. It was the first of several agreements Rogers would reach with newspapers over the coming couple of years, and he appears to be ready to do much more such business.

Finding a photo more than a few years old had always been an adventure at best, according to Bob Houlihan, Detroit News director of photography. “We’d hoof it up to the fourth floor, get through somewhere on the order of 25 filing cabinets, scan it, caption it and go about our merry business.”

Digitizing the archive was something the News had always wanted to do, Houlihan says, but by his estimate, it would have cost between $1 and $5 per photograph to do it right.

Read Full Article: http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/top-stories/124435/collector-pays-newspapers-millions-to-digitize-vintage-photos-they-can-access-more-easily/


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