ROME — Italy’s national film entity, Istituto Luce, and Italo pubcaster RAI are merging their archives to create a library of historic clips and docus, which RAI’s sales arm RAI Trade will sell internationally.

Istituto Luce, which was established in 1924, has more than 12,000 newsreels, 6,000 documentaries and movies, and more than 8,000 reels of raw footage.

RAI’s archives contain more than 325,000 hours of footage covering culture, politics, fashion, sports and the film world in Italy.

Together they create a massive treasure trove of historic material, most of which will be available to international producers for the first time.

“Independent producers all over the world will be able to take advantage of a simplified process to use these amazing archives which represent the history and memory of Italy and its people in the 20th century,” said RAI Trade topper Carlo Nardello at Mipcom in Cannes.

The first projects that will tap into the archives are a docu on Pope John XXIII and one on Italy’s WWII leader Benito Mussolini, both being co-produced by Istituto Luce and RAI.