February 24, 2006 3:56 PM PST

Google puts National Archives video online

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A marching band begins to play. The United Newsreel logo, an eagle in a martial pose, flickers onto the black-and-white screen. Bold letters proclaim: "Nazi War Plants Blasted by R.A.F. in Night Raids."

This is a World War II era newsreel, one of 100 historic videos retrieved from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and posted Friday on Google Video. The content represents the first fruits of a joint project aimed at putting as much of the National Archives' video content as possible online.

In this first batch are dozens of newsreels, films on the early 1930s park service, and National Air and Space Administration documentaries on space travel. A must-see includes Orson Welles reading from H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds," before discussing the likelihood of extraterrestrial life "beyond the petty surface of our own minute sphere."

Google Video product manager Peter Chane said the company is working in stages to put as many as possible of the National Archives' 114,000 film reels and 37,000 videos online.

"This is a tremendous resource of history and knowledge, and we want to expose that to viewers worldwide," Chane said.

The digitization of long-unseen archival footage has been under way for years, but Google's nonexclusive deal with the National Archives will likely provide a vast, new swath of material for history buffs, educators and filmmakers.

All of the material is in the public domain, Chane said. That means it can be used or shown elsewhere without paying copyright holders.

Other video services online, including most notably the Internet Archive, also offer a wide range of newsreels and video content ranging across the last 100 years.

See more CNET content tagged:
Peter Chane, Google Video, Google Inc., video

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photo editing
Going full force into video is yet another example of Google's boundless ambitions, which have taken it beyond being just a search engine into other areas such as satellite mapping, e-mail and photo editing.

David
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Posted by ip_fresh (59 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I just wonder
Kudos for Google, for putting those videos online to be viewed freely by anyone in and outside U.S.

However, looking the video's web pages, I cannot find any link to put those videos embedded in other's people page, and I wonder - why?
Posted by hetzbh (43 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Great buzz for Google, but. . . .
this will be a longterm process. I also will not be surprised if the
Bush administration gets on its 'national security' hobby horse.

Could Google not have URLs for the content because it wants to
draw traffic to paid videos on the site?

I do again tip the virtual hat to Google regarding mindshare. It is
getting as good at getting buzz as Apple.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Great buzz for Google, but. . . .
this will be a longterm process. I also will not be surprised if the
Bush administration gets on its 'national security' hobby horse.

Could Google not have URLs for the content because it wants to
draw traffic to paid videos on the site?

I do again tip the virtual hat to Google regarding mindshare. It is
getting as good at getting buzz as Apple.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Great Idea
I think this is a wonderful idea. I always like watching these types of old videos.
Posted by zduchene (5 comments )
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