Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Morgue

Many news librarians hated this term, but it works. And here's a wonderful story in the New York Observer about one of the biggest, which is still used but being moved to a new building: The Times Morgue Packs Up and Ships Out.
The morgue was born in the early 1900’s, when clerks began clipping the various editions of each day’s Times, along with the city’s other daily newspapers and important magazines. Images were preserved in the picture library, originally part of the art department, which joined the clippings down in the basement.
...The clipping of stories had officially stopped in June of 1990, with the rise of electronic archiving. The morgue was on the third floor then...Portions of the holdings were shipped off to the New York Public Library (e.g., biographies, aircraft, Connecticut) and to the University of Texas (e.g., Lyndon Baines Johnson, foreign coverage).
...The clippings include stories that have never made it into any database, including ProQuest. Although ProQuest contains nearly 130 years’ worth of late-edition stories, it doesn’t include the early editions, which were clipped and filed as they came out. The files also contain some stories that made it into galleys but were never published.



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