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AP, Movietone Team on YouTube Newsreel Channels

The Associated Press is teaming with newsreel icon British Movietone to add more than one million minutes of digitized archival newsreel footage to YouTube.

AP, which is the agent for the footage, is announcing two new channels Wednesday to host all that video, calling it the largest-ever upload of historic news footage to the video sharing site.

The more than 550,000 videos date from 1895 and run the gamut from the San Francisco earthquake and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to a twin convention and a swimming pool full of grapefruits and bathing beauties.

“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 in announcing the historic, and historical, data drop. “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 move is both a way for the public to more easily explore the archives of the two companies and to "widen its exposure to potential B2B customers," said an AP spokesperson.