For many newspapers, digitizing decades of photo archives is important, but not urgent; always a goal, but never a priority; a great idea, but a huge expense. That’s why so many editors over the last few years have been so eager to do business with John Rogers, a collector from Little Rock, Arkansas.
In 2008, Rogers paid $1.62 million for a Honus Wagner baseball card. The next year, he began proving to the newspaper industry that he was equally serious about acquiring vintage photographs when he struck a deal to buy up the archives of the Detroit News. It was the first of several agreements Rogers would reach with newspapers over the coming couple of years, and he appears to be ready to do much more such business.
Finding a photo more than a few years old had always been an adventure at best, according to Bob Houlihan, Detroit News director of photography. Read more