Time-Lapse of 12,000 New York Times Homepage Screenshots

Web developer Phillip Mendonça-Vieira accidentally captured 12,000 screenshots of the New York Times homepage between September 2010 and July 2011, which he compiled into this fascinating time-lapse video.

Having worked with and developed on a number of content management systems I can tell you that as a rule of thumb no one is storing their frontpage layout data. It’s all gone, and once newspapers shutter their physical distribution operations I get this feeling that we’re no longer going to have a comprehensive archive of how our news-sources of note looked on a daily basis. Archive.org comes close, but there are too many gaps to my liking.

This, in my humble opinion, is a tragedy because in many ways our frontpages are summaries of our perspectives and our preconceptions. They store what we thought was important, in a way that is easy and quick to parse and extremely valuable for any future generations wishing to study our time period.

via Joshua Nguyen