Bridey Heing
Updated Jul 23, 2015 @ 8:57 am
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History class is now in session on YouTube, everyone. In a totally unprecedented (and historical) move, the Associated Press and British Movietone have joined forces to give us access to about a million minutes of free historical footage. From war-time newsreels to modern news-making moments, the new collection of bite-size history lessons is a YouTube hole just waiting to happen.

The full collection will be about 550,000 videos between both AP and British Movietone’s Youtube channels. The videos date back to 1895, and it’s the largest historical news upload in YouTube’s history.

“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,” AP’s director of international archive Alwyn Lindsey told The Guardian. “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.”

The clips will cover a lot of ground, from hard-hitting news to celebrity clips. Sports, humor, and wacky historical moments are also included. You can see Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s, coverage of the 1905 San Francisco earthquake, 1960s fashion news, and exclusive 1941 footage of Pearl Harbor. And that’s only four of the half-million videos.

The whole idea is to make the two channels a visual encyclopedia, offering “a unique perspective on the most significant moments of modern history.” Being able to see the news as it was originally reported is both a surreal and informative experience, and it makes it all come alive so much more than reading about it in a history textbook. You can lose yourself in the entire archive, right here.

In the meantime, we’ll just leave you with this insane newsreel about women’s sunglasses from 1971.

(Image via YouTube)