The Online Video Platform at Film Annex - National Archives Videos

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The National Archives and Records Administration,or NARA, is an independent agency tasked with saving and preserving government documentation and historical records. These documents, which make up the National Archives, include sound and video recordings in addition to paper documents and files. Film Annex recently started The National Archives WebTV to highlight and showcase some of these videos.

Many of the videos, which are in the public domain, deal with World War II and the Cold War. Some of the videos, like the CIA True Stories video, were films produced in Hollywood for mass entertainment. Others, like this US bombing of Japanese bases in World War II, are live footage from the war. 

While the videos are largely educational, showing various moments in history, they’re also a fascinating look into our past. Viewing these videos is like learning what was important to our parents and ancestors. They bring important pieces of history to modern-day viewers via a democratic and accessible medium - film. Even if you don’t speak the language (and indeed, some of the videos are in other languages), the moving images still speak for themselves. 

Film Annex’s global reach means that these videos will be available to people from countries outside of the US, as well. They could be used as educational tools for students in Afghanistan and other countries. Because they’re offered freely and are in the public domain, creative works like blog posts could even emerge around these videos. 

These historical videos offer people today the chance to look into the past. By showing these videos on Film Annex and making them publicly available, the National Archives and Records Administration is giving people around the world a chance to learn more about history in a more visceral way than simply reading texts.


About the author


Michael Sweeney is focused on the Bitcoin and Digital Currency efforts of Carousel 51, LLC.

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