Library of Congress Hits YouTube

The steward of the world’s largest collection of audiovisual materials (some 6 million films, broadcasts and sound recordings) has made its own YouTube channel public.
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The Library of Congress has been working a long time to make sure it got its public launch onto YouTube right.

Now, the steward of the world’s largest collection of audiovisual materials (some 6 million films, broadcasts and sound recordings) has made its own YouTube channel public.

Check it out here.

The channel is starting with more than 70 videos, arranged in these playlists: 2008 National Book Festival author presentations, the Books and Beyond author series, Journeys and Crossings (a series of curator discussions), “Westinghouse” industrial films from 1904, scholar discussions from the John W. Kluge Center, and the earliest movies made by Thomas Edison, including the first moving image ever made—a sneeze by a man named Fred Ott, according to Library of Congress Communications Director Matt Raymond.

“But this is just the beginning,” Raymond said in his LoC blog. “We have made a conscious decision that we’re not just going to upload a bunch of videos and then walk away. As with our popular Flickr pilot project, we intend to keep uploading additional content. We’re modifying some of our work-flows in modest ways to make our content more useful and delivered across platforms with built-in audiences of millions.”

All of the videos posted on YouTube will also be available at LOC.gov and on American Memory. Many of those are newly digitized in much higher resolution by LoC conservators in Culpeper, Va.

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