The morgue is a legendary thing in the newspaper business -- a vast photo library, clipping archive and information center all rolled into one. As a symbol of the history of print journalism, it's a pretty hard thing to beat. It's also increasingly in danger of fading away in a digital age.
The folks at Tumblr took a peek at one of the most fabled of morgues: that of the New York Times. The paper's morgue is located deep in a basement in a separate building from the Times' sleek skyscraper. In the video, we see row after row of file cabinets, all potentially with hidden treasures. Photo editors at the Times pay tribute to the distinct pleasure of a physical archive.
"You can't touch digital," Darcy Eveleigh, a photo editor at the paper, says.
Jeff Roth, the so-called "Morgue Keeper," tells the filmmakers that the morgue is a frequently threatened species.
"There have been many times that they've tried to kill it," he says.
Luckily, though, the Times seems to have decided to make the most of a good thing. The paper has created a big, beautiful Tumblr full of images from the morgue. It's called, appropriately enough, "The Lively Morgue." It's a fitting way to honor what reporter David Dunlap says is the best thing about the archive: "The treasure of the morgue is the secrets that it holds."