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One Million Minutes of Digitised #Historic Footage Added to #YouTube

YouTube has an impressive compliment of educational content, but it can be somewhat difficult to find it all, or figure out which videos are worthwhile and which are just some gormless vlogger occupying their time by reading Britannica printouts to their webcam. Another thing YouTube has a great reputation for is historical footage. Various different channels have uploaded some amazing, vital visual artefacts in the past, such as this colourised footage of London from 1927:



Now that brag has been expanded further, as British Movietone and The Associated Press have added over one million minutes of digitised historical footage, ranging from 1895 to present day. It's the largest single upload of historic footage in the history of the platform. The footage itself ranges from key events to interviews with significant figures to other general news reel coverage, creating what the Associated Press are referring to as a 'view-on-demand visual encyclopaedia'.



The educational value of this kind of thing is massive, since reading about an event only gets you so far, but seeing actual news footage can provide a more significant historical context. It can also help people build an understanding of how reporting has changed over the past century or so. Included among the over 550,000 entries are videos of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Peal Harbour attack, the World Trade Centre bombing, Marlyn Monroe in London in the 50s and more obscure things like the largest collection of Sherlock Holmes memorabilia.

The only drawback of this information avalanche is that there's no real system to categorise it yet, or make sifting through it all any easier. Just scrolling through the list and seeing what you fancy looking at in more detail is all well and good but most people are going to be accessing the archives in search of some specific historical information. This is more a fault with YouTube than with The Associated Press though, since their interface is in pretty desperate need of a new coat of paint.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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One Million Minutes of Digitised #Historic Footage Added to #YouTube Reviewed by Callum Davies on Saturday, July 25, 2015 Rating: 5

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