AP Uncorks 1 Million Minutes of Digitized History

Partnership with British Movietone encompasses 550,000 videos dating all the way back to 1895.

In March 1930, Babe Ruth famously signed a two-year contract that paid him $80,000 a year. Thanks to a massive new upload of archival content to YouTube by British Movietone in association with AP Video, that Yankees contract signing is now accessible and available for media outlets to license.

The above is just one of 550,000 archival clips totaling more than one million minutes. All told, the effort ranks as the largest upload of historical news content to YouTube to date. From today’s announcement:

“The AP Archive footage, combined with the British Movietone collection, creates an incredible visual journey of the people and events that have shaped our history,” said Alwyn Lindsey, AP’s director of international archive. “At AP, we are always astonished at the sheer breadth of footage that we have access to, and the upload to YouTube means that, for the first time, the public can enjoy some of the oldest and most remarkable moments in history.”

Lindsey isn’t kidding with regards to the breadth of footage. Once the endless scroll of YouTube clips is teed up on the computer screen, it’s almost impossible not to keep going, to see what goodies are on the next page.

British Movietone, in business from 1895 to 1986, launched the newsreel format in 1929. And for what it’s worth, Ruth those two years – 1930, 1931 – logged batting averages of .359 and .373, and home run totals of 49 and 46.