Abridged from the NYT "Amassing a Treasury of Photography"
The George Eastman House in Rochester and the International Center of Photography in Midtown (NYC) have begun a web-based collaboration to contain some of the world's best-known photographs and photographers. The Web site - Photomuse.org, now active only as a test site, with a smattering of images - is expected to include almost 200,000 photographs when it is completed in the fall of 2006, and as both institutions work out agreements with estates and living photographers, the intention is to add tens of thousands more pictures.
While there are now dozens of growing digital databases of photography on the Web, many - like Corbis and Getty Images - are commercial sites that do not allow the public unfettered access to their collections. The Photomuse site will join others, like the digital collections of the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford, England, that are beginning to create what amounts to a huge, free, virtual photography museum on the Web.