Those protections don’t prohibit all exploration and salvage, however. Over the years, thousands of artifacts have been recovered and sold. There have been a variety of articles about the biggest-ever auction of Titanic artifacts, comprising 5,500 items, arranged by the New York-based Guernsey’s. A few outlets have photo galleries of the stunning collection, which includes a 17-ton section of the hull. A court order stipulated that the items must be sold as a single lot, not piece by piece, and that the buyer will have to maintain the pieces and make them available for public display and research.
Unsurprisingly, the best gallery of new images of the Titanic came from National Geographic, which produced an anniversary package for its April issue. The magazine worked with William Lange, the head of the Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, to construct “a meticulously stitched-together mosaic” of images of the large wreck site. As the cover story, “Unseen Titanic,” explained:
In recent years explorers like James Cameron and Paul-Henry Nargeolet have brought back increasingly vivid pictures of the wreck. Yet we’ve mainly glimpsed the site as though through a keyhole, our view limited by the dreck suspended in the water and the ambit of a submersible’s lights. Never have we been able to grasp the relationships between all the disparate pieces of wreckage. Never have we taken the full measure of what’s down there until now.
There’s so much more, with outlets pursuing almost every angle imaginable to mark the centennial. A self-deprecating blog entry at The Washington Post about “oversaturated media coverage” linked to over a dozen reports from its own writers. The New York Times has a Topics page for the Titanic, which shows a similar breadth of coverage in recent weeks. The BBC, The Telegraph, and The Daily Beast all created special reports on their websites.
There’s also plenty for those interested in paleo-journalism. From The Huffington Post and Patch to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and WNYC there were many retrospectives on how news of the disaster broke in April 1912, and Discovery News posted a nice slideshow of the photos that accompanied that coverage.
Between the anniversary collections and those original reports there has, of course, been a steady stream of year-to-year reportage as well. As the Post’s Achenbach rightly put it, “Even if Titanic wasn’t unsinkable, fascination with it seems to be.”