British Pathé, the U.K. newsreel archive company, has uploaded its entire 100-year collection of 85,000 historic films in high resolution to YouTube.
The collection, which spans 1896 to 1976, comprises some 3,500 hours of historical footage of major events, notable figures, fashion, travel, sports and culture. It includes extensive film from both World War I and World War II.
“Our hope is that everyone, everywhere who has a computer will see these films and enjoy them,” British Pathé GM Alastair White said in a statement. “This archive is a treasure trove unrivaled 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.”
Personalities captured in the newsreels include Princess Diana, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Fidel Castro, John Lennon, Salvador Dali, Mother Teresa, Muhammad Ali and Charlie Chaplin. British Pathé already makes numerous clips available on its website free for personal use, and it licenses the archive to TV and film producers and other companies and organizations.
The YouTube channel is being managed by German online-media company Mediakraft, which will create new content using British Pathé material in English and other languages.