You can now download, for free, a growing archive of old Leica Photography magazines

by Gannon Burgett

posted Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 11:51 AM EST

Print photography magazines are folding left and right in the digital era, but their impact on photography and the legacy they’ve left will forever be held in high regard in the hearts of many. One of those individuals is Daniel Neal, who has decided to digitize a number of Leica Photography magazines that he recently acquired and distribute them, for free, to all through his website Leica Photography Archive.

Inspired by Mike Butkus of Orphan Cameras and, Neal is using a Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600 to scan, page by page, every Leica Photography magazine he has in his archive. After scanning each page of the magazine using the non-contact scanner, Neal runs each page of the resulting PDFs through OCR software so that end users can search the text of the magazines as though they were digital. Not only does he take the time to run through the text, he has also taken the time to create an annotated index of the magazines to the best of his ability.

Neal does this on his own time and with his own capital. The Fujitsu scanner alone runs roughly $700 and although Neal doesn’t state how long each magazine takes to scan, he says it takes even longer to run it through OCR software and piece together the final PDF file.

Neal politely asks for a donation via PayPal if you’ve found his work to be interesting and of value to you. He makes clear that any money made from donations will go right back into the project, using it to offset the cost of the scanner, research materials, postage, and website costs. He will personally send a ‘thank you’ email for each donation made and will even mail you a DVD containing all of the scanned issues, along with the annotated index, for $25 shipped, $30 outside of the US.

Although these magazines are copyrighted material, Neal notes in a blog post that they have lone been out of print and are shared under fair use, for reference material and as a historical archive for the Leica community.

Neal doesn’t request this on his site, but we’re sure he would appreciate having any copies he doesn’t currently have. So, if you have a stack of Leica Photography magazines from days long gone, you can probably reach out and organize to send them his way if you so please. The magazines are not destroyed in the scanning process, so there’s a chance you could get them back if you desire.

You can obtain the digitized issues one at a time through Google Drive or all at once. Simply go to the Google Drive folder Leica Photography Archive has provided, add them to your own Google Drive, and download them to your computer. The archive currently has 78 issues, which weighs in at only 876MB. The archive will inevitably grow as Neal has time to add more magazines.

(via LeicaRumors)