Thousands of hours of historical footage showing major events, celebrities and simple day-to-day life from 1896 until 1976 has been uploaded to YouTube. The newsreel maker which documented all walks of life on video during the 20th Century, has uploaded its entire collection of moving images to YouTube. The archive of 3,500 hours of footage was digitised in 2002 thanks in part to a grant from the National Lottery, and is now freely accessible to anyone around the world for free.
The unique collection of video covers major events, famous faces, travel, sport and culture and is a wealth of information on the First and Second World Wars in particular. Scrolling through the archives reveals everything from the tragic: Emily Davison throwing herself under the King's horse, the Hindenburg disaster and the Hiroshima bombing, to the downright unusual, such as Southampton University's 1962 attempt to launch a flying bicycle.
Alastair White, general manager of British Pathé, 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.
“Whether you’re looking for coverage of the Royal Family, the Titanic, the destruction of the Hindenburg, or quirky stories about British pastimes, it’ll be there on our channel. You can lose yourself for hours.”