For over 100 years, The New York Times has stored its historical news clippings and photographs in an underground archive lovingly named the “morgue.”


Most of us keep stacks of pictures in our attic or basement. And media organizations are no different. The New York Times has archived approximately five to seven million of their old photos three stories below street level near their Times Square offices.

Until now finding a photo in the morgue has been a manual task for journalists. A card catalog pointed them to a file cabinet and a drawer where the search for a topic began. With the exception of one extraordinary caretaker, many of the images haven’t been seen in years.

Jeff Roth, Researcher and Archive Caretaker, The New York Times

Watch: Digitizing The New York Times archive with Google Cloud


Together with Google Cloud, The New York Times is digitizing the morgue and creating a custom software solution that will give journalists access to explore it in a whole new way.

For the newsroom, the digital archive will inspire stories for Past Tense, a body of coverage dedicated to revisiting history through photographs.

Nick Rockwell, New York Times CTO, speaks about the partnership with Google Cloud.