Friday, April 18, 2014

British Pathé Newsreel Library Online

Seriously, how can anyone not love the Internet? It won't be too long before all human culture and knowledge; the arts, films, books, music, and languages, you name it, will all be available somewhere online.

Take for example the entire newsreel library of the British Pathé archive. Their entire collection of more than 85,000 newsreel films is now available for your viewing pleasure at YouTube. If you are too young to know what newsreel film is, ask your parents, or better still, your grandparents. They will certainly remember their trips to the cinema when the main feature was always preceded by a cartoon or two and fifteen minutes of news footage from around the world.

This from their YouTube page…
The world's finest news and entertainment video film archive. Since the invention of the moving image in the 1890's, British Pathé began recording every aspect of global culture and news, for the cinema. With their unique combination of information and entertainment, British Pathé's documentaries, newsreels, serials and films changed the way the world saw itself forever.
With it's unparalleled collection of historical events and vast catalogue of changing social activity, British Pathé encompasses one of the world's most prodigious and fascinating documents of the modern age. From fashion to warfare and sport to travel, British Pathé is the definitive source for the 20th century in moving images.
All 85,000 newsreels are now searchable and viewable on YouTube. This equates to 3,500 hours of filmed history. 
The range and scope of this collection is nothing short of mind-blowing. Imagine finding a treasure trove of film covering an eighty year span of history from say, 1790 to 1870, or even earlier; 1590 to 1670. While it may seem like nothing more than a curiosity now, in another one or two hundred years this collection of films will indeed be regarded as a unique window into our lives, as documented during one of the most interesting and turbulent periods in human history.

Pathé eventually stopped producing the cinema newsreel in February 1970, as they could no longer compete with television, but the legacy the organisation has left to future generations will live on long after you and I, dear reader, are gone.

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