Duck and cover historic events with Prelinger Archives

Today I learned of a new video archive source – Prelinger Archives.

The content is made up mostly of early US public information content – incorporating advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur subject matter, both professional and amateur, from 1927 to the present day.

You might well ask what value an archive of ‘ephemera’ has for news.

The great thing about ephemera is that it is so loosely defined it can fit many a broadcast journalistic purposes. Take some of today’s stories – say Tanker pay talks end without deal, or Media doctor admits to plagiarism.

The archives include public information footage on these subjects which could provide some light relief/insight – see Oil Today – Power Tomorrow (1950), and Cheating (1952).

Check the tag cloud for inspiration.

In terms of rights, the site’s content falls within the Creative Commons Public Domain, which means that contributors have…

…taken reasonable steps to verify the copyright status of this work. [But the] Certifier recognizes that his good faith efforts may not shield him from liability if in fact the work certified is not in the public domain.

For other international online TV archive sources, check here.


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