The NYT's Randy Kennedy reports that the Magnum photo agency has "quietly sold" its archive of more than 180,000 "press prints" ("the kind of prints once made by the collective to circulate to magazines and newspapers[; . . .] marked on their reverse sides with decades of historical impasto — stamps, stickers and writing chronicling their publication histories — that speaks to their role in helping to create the collective photo bank of modern culture") to MSD Capital, Michael Dell's private investment firm. MSD has agreed to deposit the collection with the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin "for study and exhibition, for at least the next five years." The purchase price was not disclosed, but supposedly the Ransom Center has insured the collection for more than $100 million.
The sale includes the prints only: "The image rights will be retained by [Magnum’s] photographers and their estates."
More here from Photo District News.