National Archives films on Google Video

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Feb 27 20:48:36 UTC 2006

Of potential interest... So far the films they've put on Google Video
aren't all that interesting, although Carmencita the gypsy dancer is


National Archives and Google Launch Pilot Project to Digitize and
Offer Historic Films Online

Washington, D.C. and Mountain View, Calif. – Feb. 24, 2006 – Archivist
of the United States Allen Weinstein and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)
Co-Founder and President of Technology Sergey Brin today announced the
launch of a pilot program to make holdings of the National Archives
available for free online. This non-exclusive agreement will enable
researchers and the general public to access a diverse collection of
historic movies, documentaries and other films from the National
Archives via Google Video as well as the National Archives website.

"This is an important step for the National Archives to achieve its
goal of becoming an archives without walls," said Professor Weinstein.
"Our new strategic plan emphasizes the importance of providing access
to records anytime, anywhere. This is one of many initiatives that we
are launching to make our goal a reality. For the first time, the
public will be able to view this collection of rare and unusual films
on the Internet."

"Today, we've begun to make the extraordinary historic films of the
National Archives available to the world for the first time online,"
said Sergey Brin, co-founder and president of technology at Google.
"Students and researchers whether in San Francisco or Bangladesh can
watch remarkable video such as World War II newsreels and the story of
Apollo 11 - the historic first landing on the Moon."

The pilot program undertaken by the National Archives and Google
features 103 films from the audiovisual collections preserved at the
Archives. Highlights of the pilot project include:

    * The earliest film preserved in the National Archives holdings by
Thomas Armat, "Carmencita - Spanish Dance," featuring the famous
Spanish Gypsy dancer,1894;

    * A representative selection of U.S. government newsreels,
documenting World War II, 1941-45;

    * A sampling of documentaries produced by NASA on the history of
the spaceflight program;

    * Motion picture films, primarily from the 1930s, that document
the history and establishment of a nationwide system of national and
state parks. Included is early footage of modern Native American
activities, Boulder Dam, documentation of water and wind erosion,
Civilian Conservation Corps workers, and the establishment of the
Tennessee Valley Authority. A 1970 film documents the expansion of
recreational programs for inner city youth across the nation.

The National Archives and Google are exploring the possibilities of
expanding the on-line film collection and making the Archives
extensive textual holdings available via the Internet.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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