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Doug Rowan

The Curator

"In a world of atoms, in a film world as we call it, it was a challenge of a type to bring pictures to life, and in a way they were brought to life in various forms of publications-such as Life Magazine. In the digital world they can be brought to life with audio, with video, and with other techniques that allow one to explore them in a manner that wasn't possible before in print. For example, my wife and I have been long-term subscribers to the National Geographic, and I always had the feeling when I read National Geographic that I would have liked them to have printed certain pictures larger than the ones they chose. I really didn't have that capability; an editor made the choices for me. In a digital world, I will be able to take a subject, such as volcanoes, and I'll be able to explore the aspects that interest me, and to the level of detail that I want, tailored for me, and not created by an editor who anticipated what I would want to see."

Corbis is a company whose headquarters is outside Seattle in Bellevue, Washington. They also have offices in New York and London. The business is building a digital visual library, and it's an endeavor that's been underway for almost 7 years. According to Doug Rowan, president of Corbis, it has accelerated quite a bit in the last three years, and the company ended 1996 with nearly one million high resolution photographs richly catalogued in the library.

DOUG ROWAN is president and CEO of Corbis Corporation, in Bellevue, Washington. Doug joined Corbis Corporation in early 1994 after 30+ years in the computer industry. After a BSEE and MBA from Cornell, Doug joined IBM where he held a number of sales, marketing and marketing management positions over a 22 year period. Doug left IBM in 1984 to join MASSCOMP as VP of Marketing, Sales and Service. After a similar position at Ampex, Doug joined AXS as President. AXS was a pioneer in software and rights for the new digital content industry.