Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and Google Co-Founder and President of Technology Sergey Brin have announced the launch of a pilot program to make holdings of the National Archives available for free online. This non-exclusive agreement will enable researchers and the general public to access a diverse collection of historic movies, documentaries and other films from the National Archives via Google Video as well as the National Archives site.
The pilot program undertaken by the National Archives and Google features 103 films from the audiovisual collections preserved at the Archives. Highlights of the pilot project include: The earliest film preserved in the National Archives holdings by Thomas Armat, "Carmencita - Spanish Dance," featuring the famous Spanish Gypsy dancer,1894; A representative selection of U.S. government newsreels, documenting World War II, 1941-45; A sampling of 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. Included is early footage of modern Native American activities, Boulder Dam, documentation of water and wind erosion, Civilian Conservation Corps workers, and the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority. A 1970 film documents the expansion of recreational programs for inner city youth across the nation.
The National Archives and Google are exploring the possibilities of expanding the on-line film collection and making the Archives extensive textual holdings available via the Internet.