Google announced Friday that it is teaming with independent federal agency the National Archives to launch a pilot program that will make holdings of the National Archives, including digitized video of historic films, available for free online.
This non-exclusive agreement will enable researchers and the general public to access historic movies, documentaries and other films from the National Archives through Google Video, as well as the National Archives Web site.
The pilot program undertaken by the National Archives and Google features 103 films from the audiovisual collections preserved at the Archives, including the 1894 film Carmencita - Spanish Dance, the earliest film in the Archives collection; a selection of U.S. government newsreels documenting World War II; documentaries produced by NASA on the history of the spaceflight program; and motion picture films, primarily from the 1930s, that document the history and establishment of a nationwide system of national and state parks.
The National Archives and Google are also considering expanding the on-line film collection and making the Archives’ extensive textual holdings available on the Internet.
"This is an important step for the National Archives to achieve its goal of becoming an archive without walls," said Archivist of the United States Professor Allen Weinstein.