YouTube Gains 550,000 Historical Newsreels From As Early As 1895

Researching the history of the last hundred years just became a bit easier. The Associated Press, in collaboration with British Movietone, has taken a vast newsreel archive and uploaded it to YouTube for all to see.

The 550,000 newsreels that have been uploaded to YouTube range from 1895 to the present, and as a result, some of these newsreels are amongst the oldest videos ever recorded. Users will be able to see videos of historical events such as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the attack on 9/11, and several other events.

"The AP archive footage, combined with the British Movietone collection, creates an incredible visual journey of the people and events that have shaped our history," said Alwyn Lindsey, AP's director of international archive. "At AP we are always astonished at the sheer breadth of footage that we have access to, and the upload to YouTube means that, for the first time, the public can enjoy some of the oldest and most remarkable moments in history."

Given the age of most of these video recordings, access to some of this content had been regulated to prevent damaging or destroying the archives. By turning the footage into a digital format, though, anyone can now see the content without worrying about harming the originals. This represents a fantastic educational opportunity for anyone with YouTube access.

The available newsreels hosted by AP on YouTube will continue to grow over time, too. As news occurs, and older historical newsreels are added to the collection, AP has committed itself to ensuring these videos can be viewed by anyone, and British Movietone has agreed to do the same.

Follow Michael Justin Allen Sexton @LordLao74. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.
  • sea monkey
    This is awesome.
  • g-unit1111
    "In the future, you may be able to talk to people without actually talking to people! We call this device a "Facebook" and the young founder will be worth more money than you could ever possibly imagine!" :lol:
  • scolaner
    This is awesome.

    Exactly the words I was thinking when I first saw this.
  • Mr Soup
    Definitely Awesome. I will probably watch a couple hours worth this weekend.
  • DookieDraws
    AWESOME!! Glad to see them do this. I will certainly kill some time watching these videos, especially those of the older news footage. Might even pop a big arse bowl of popcorn!

    See y'all in 2016 some time!

  • alexluther74
    And this brings us one step closer to a Star Trek-like information utopia. Live long and prosper Youtube!
  • These should go to, if it isn't already. On Youtube, it's just going to be full of advertisements.
  • ralanahm
    Wow ??
  • Solandri
    16309077 said:
    And this brings us one step closer to a Star Trek-like information utopia. Live long and prosper Youtube!
    Only if they upload all the movies. Some of the Movietone clips I've seen from WWII were, by today's standards, incredibly racist. To be a historical archive, all those need to be made publicly available so people can see an unadulterated, unbiased version of history (history of news clips, since the clips themselves were censored to protect wartime secrets). I suspect though that it'll be self-censored, and the most-offending clips will be left out, kinda like it's nearly impossible to find Disney's and Warner Bros' wartime propaganda cartoons.

    16309289 said:
    These should go to, if it isn't already. On Youtube, it's just going to be full of advertisements.
    It's their videos, they can upload it wherever they want. The fact that they'd actually make some money off of putting it on YouTube is probably a big part of the reason they're doing it.

    Once they're on YouTube, you can take the ones which are old enough to be out of copyright and put them on if you wish. Works under copyright (in the U.S.) are supposed to be stored at the Library of Congress - you're supposed to send a copy when you register a copyright. So long-term maybe they can work out some arrangement with or set up their own website. But as always, the question is how are you going to pay for the additional costs to make it available for people to view online? Here, they probably calculated they'd recoup some or all of the costs of digitizing the films via YouTube ads.
    This is downright amazing.

    It's funny how people debate YouTube will be phased out soon along with content creators.

    Sorry, but it's here to stay. Slightly off topic, I know, but I think it's the opposite. Pretty soon it will be in everyone's living room. It has already started.