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Getty, Time Unveil Life.com

Little Girls‚ by Mario Tama, from the Life.com archive. Little Girls‚ by Mario Tama, from the Life.com archive.
© Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Life magazine's 160 years of photo archives became available, for free, on March 31 after a two-year project to digitize the publication's expansive photo collection.

Life.com, the online photo archive created by Getty Images and Time Inc., launched with more than 7 million images and plans to add 3,000 new images every day. The database features images from both the Life and Getty photo databases. The expansive collection includes unseen galleries, such as photos from the night of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination; only 3 percent of the images have been previously viewed by the public.

The new site will allow free personal and noncommercial use, targeting website traffic rather than charging for image use.

Life.com will draw revenue from major advertisers, such as Rolex, and from selling framed prints of photos. In the near future, users will be able to create custom-published books and magazines using Life.com photos.

Before launching, Getty worked with Google to ensure that its images were easy to find in the Google Images search engine. In its first week, Life.com hit 1 million unique visitors and 10 million page views per day.