British Pathé

British Pathé


British Pathé is a newsreel archive. Earlier this year they uploaded all 85,000 newsreels, the entire collection on YouTube. This is the largest archive of history on YouTube and considered the world’s finest record of news and entertainment of the 20th century.

“Our hope is that everyone, everywhere who has a computer will see these films and enjoy them,” says Alastair White, General Manager of British Pathé. “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.”

The archive newsreels cover the years from 1896 to 1976. Moving Images were first invented in the 1890’s and British Pathé began recording every aspect of global culture and news, for the cinema. They produced a unique combination of information and entertainment. Their footage changed the way the world saw itself forever. You can experience the 20th Century first hand by searching the channel. You may even find footage no one else has ever seen. You’ll find footage of major events, famous faces, fashion trends, travel, sport and culture. You’ll watch original coverage of the First and Second World Wars, Kennedy, Monroe, Elvis Presley or a celebrity weddings or two.

Alastair White continues: “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.”

There are so many pieces of gold in this collection it was hard to choose one as an example. Categories include ‘A day that shook the world’, ‘Disasters caught on camera’, ‘Weird Newsreels’ and ‘Fantastic Inventions’. I ended up with the one below. It has many famous people featured and is quite haunting if you understand the tragedy the couple faced in the years that followed.

Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate Wedding, 1968.

Click here to go to the channel

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