This is the first few paragraphs from an article in today's NY Times:
July 20, 2005
Amassing a Treasury of Photography
By RANDY KENNEDY
In 1999 two proud powerhouses of photography - the George Eastman
House in Rochester and the International Center of Photography in
Midtown - began to acknowledge that they needed each other.
More specifically, officials at the Eastman House - the world's oldest
photography museum, with more than 400,000 photos and negatives,
dating back to the invention of the medium - felt that they needed a
New York City presence. And the International Center, a younger
institution with a smaller collection, wanted access to Eastman's vast
holdings, which include work by Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward
Steichen and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy.
The collaboration resulted in several joint exhibitions, including
"Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth and Hawes," still on
display at the center, and a show that ended earlier this year of the
striking photographs of New Orleans prostitutes from the early 1900's
by E. J. Bellocq, images that were drawn roughly half from Eastman and
half from the center.
But now both institutions are at work on an ambitious project to
create one of the largest freely accessible databases of masterwork
photography anywhere on the Web, a venture that will bring their
collections to much greater public notice and provide an immense
resource for photography aficionados, both scholars and amateurs.
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