Sonic Editions and The Impossible Cool are celebrating their ongoing collaboration with a new set of prints entitled the ‘Corbis’ Collection. The new batch is comprised of never-seen-before images from the maximum security Corbis Archive at Iron Mountain, which is located underground in rural Pennsylvania. The subjects include John F. Kennedy, Muhammad Ali, Grace Kelly, amongst other icons. The images are as captivating as these historic figures themselves, my favorite being Grace Kelly in the floral dress.
In the gallery above is select images from the collection as well as photos taken by Impossible Cool author Sean Sullivan during his time in the archive.
As Sonic Editions founder Russell Blackmore explains in his account of acquiring the images:
“We set off to find Iron Mountain – a former Limestone mine that had been converted to an underground archive storage facility – and without the GPS, we’d still be looking for it now. In between the low hills and scrubby woods of rural Pennsylvania we suddenly came across a car park and what looked like the gatehouse of a super-max prison. We walked up to the pedestrian entrance, were allowed through the first set of doors where a man behind a bulletproof glass screen asked to see two forms of photo ID. It all seemed slightly over the top until I glanced the rack of machine guns behind him, and the Baghdad Green-Zone facility for vehicle searches through the other side of the guardhouse window.
It turns out that this former limestone mine doesn’t just contain one of the world’s largest photo archives. It was set up in the 50s as a bunker for Pittsburgh’s heavy industry to move to in the event of nuclear attack. Inside the 1.7 million square feet of archives, over 2,000 companies keep everything from the latest server back ups to the major movie studios original celluloid of movies like ET, Jaws and Back to the Future, the master recordings of Sinatra, Elvis and Glen Miller, and Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation stores the video testimony of Holocaust survivors.”
The Collection is now available here.