By Ray Bennett
British Pathé said it has uploaded its entire collection of 85,600 historic films in high resolution for viewers around the world to watch on YouTube.
The newsreel archive said the release of vintage news reports and cinemagazines is part of a drive to make the archive more accessible.
British Pathé General Manager Alastair White said, “Our hope is that everyone, everywhere who has a computer will see these films and enjoy them. This archive is a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten. Uploading the films to YouTube seemed like the best way to make sure of that.”
Once an essential part of moviegoing, British Pathé’s distinctive newsreels cover social, cultural, political and dramatic events across the UK and around the globe from 1896 to 1976. Its coverage of World War I and World War II is especially strong.
White said, “Whether you’re looking for coverage of the royal family, the Titanic, the destruction of the Hindenburg (pictured), or quirky stories about British pastimes, it’ll be there on our channel. You can lose yourself for hours.”
German firm Mediakraft, which has been responsible for numerous past YouTube successes, will manage the project and create new content using British Pathé material in English and in foreign languages, British Pathé said.