‘Chicago Tribune’ Digitizing Photo Archive, Marketing Original Prints

By: E&P Staff

The Chicago Tribune reached agreements to digitize the more than seven million images in its photo archive — and to sell the original prints through a collectables dealer.

The Tribune expects the sales of the prints will more than offset the cost of digitizing the archive, which will be done over what’s expected to be a five-year period by Image Fortress. The deals were first reported by Tribune media writer Phil Rosenthal.

When the photos have been digitized, the original prints wil lbe marketed by Jay Parrino’s The Mint.

Rosenthal quoted Tribune News Administration Editor Randall Weissman as saying the sales
should be worth “millions of dollars over the term of the deal.”

“We pay Image Fortress a certain amount of money to do the digitization,” Weissman said. “Then we get paid from The Mint from the sale of the asset … Their expertise is at looking at 1,000 photos and knowing which ones will sell at premium prices. … We (also) get paid from licensing and sales of rights to the digital images.”

The Tribune also reached an agreement with York University in Toronto to digitize several hundred thousand images from the old Chicago Herald American, Rosenthal reported.

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