For the first time, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is excavating, curating and digitizing its photo library, which has been accumulating photographs for more than a century, to display them online.
The Post-Gazette library contains tens of thousands of photographs and negatives taken by photographers working for the Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Press and the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph.
The images, stored in envelopes and file folders over the years, have never before been digitized. We will be researching the origins of the photographs and telling their stories. Because of the painstaking effort required to curate each image in this way, we are calling the project The Digs.
President Kennedy's visit to Pittsburgh
PG executive editor David Shribman discusses the significance of President John F. Kennedy's visit to Pittsburgh in 1962. (Video by Steve Mellon; 8/8/2012)
The Post-Gazette's photo library dates to the beginnings of photojournalism, when technical advances in newspaper printing first allowed the publication of photos in newspapers. The earliest images we have discovered are from the 1904 flood. The collection offers a unique perspective on local, national and international events, as well as the people in the community.
We will be making the images and their stories available online as we digitize and document them. Selected photos will also be available for purchase online through the PG Store.
Today, the Post-Gazette unveiled the first five images: President Kennedy in Pittsburgh in 1962, taken just a few days before the October Cuban Missile Crisis; Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw; two images of a funeral procession in 1952 (one of the images was taken in front of St. Nicholas Church); and presidential candidate Ronald Reagan campaigning with Senators John Heinz III and Richard Schweiker in Pittsburgh, taken four days before the 1980 election.
We will be releasing additional images daily.
We hope that The Digs will be of interest to our readers, history buffs, scholars and those interested in photojournalism. Our goal is to tell the rich history of Pittsburgh and the region through pictures of people, communities and historic events. We hope it ignites some memories, and we look forward to receiving feedback from our readers.
The Digs project was created by a team that includes Mila Sanina and Steve Mellon with assistance of intern Elizabeth Bloom. First Published August 8, 2012 4:00 AM