BY GABE HERMAN | Thousands of photos of Ground Zero, taken in the weeks after the 9/11 attack, were recently discovered by chance at a house clearance sale.
Archivists bought a group of CD’s at the sale and stumbled upon a collection of 2,400 photos of Ground Zero, according to a BBC report. The CD’s were reportedly in bad condition, but the photos were able to be salvaged.
The photos are believed to have been taken by a construction worker at the site, who has not yet been identified. They show stunning images of the aftermath of the attack, including at the World Trade Center site and neighboring areas, such as the Winter Garden Atrium across the West Side Highway.
Some photos are taken at ground level and others are from high up on nearby buildings. Many include construction workers clearing rubble in the area.
The photos have been posted online at: flickr.com/photos/textfiles/albums/72157708997281912
Archivist Dr. Johnathan Burgess, whose partner discovered the photos, told the BBC, “Generally these items are neglected at sales. It’s very likely these would be in a dumpster by now had we not gone.”
Burgess archived the photos, with help from a CD recovery service, and they were released through another archivist, Jason Scott. Burgess added of the discovery, “It’s a miracle the discs transferred so well, CD-ROM’s of that age are pretty spotty.”
In terms of sharing the photos for all to see, Burgess told the BBC that it’s “about doing what’s right for humanity.” He added that those touched by the images might think of donating to a charity of their choosing.
Almost 3,000 people died from the 9/11 attacks, and many thousands more have since been affected by 9/11-related illnesses, from toxic dust that lingered in the area for months afterward. The federal government recently extended the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund permanently, after pressure from first responders and other advocates.