YouTube, and Now We Do Too

Well, this is a day that has been a long time in coming. The Library of Congress has been working for several months now so that we could “do YouTube right.” When you’re the stewards of the world’s largest collection of audiovisual materials (some 6 million films, broadcasts and sound recordings), nothing less would be expected of you, and our own YouTube channel has now gone public.

We are starting with more than 70 videos, arranged in the following 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 (I defy you to watch some of them without thinking of the Carl Stalling song “Powerhouse”), scholar discussions from the John W. Kluge Center, and the earliest movies made by Thomas Edison, including the first moving image ever made (curiously enough, a sneeze by a man named Fred Ott).

But this is just the beginning. 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.

Not so incidentally, all of the videos we post on YouTube will also be available at LOC.gov (and many, many more, of course) on American Memory, many of which are newly digitized in much higher resolution by the fine Motion Picture, Broadcast and Recorded Sound conservators in Culpeper, Va.

And now for something completely different: boxing cats!

17 Comments

  1. Ministry School student
    April 7, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Well done guys – I look forward to watching them!

  2. Michael Ballard
    April 7, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Using Youtube is a wonderful idea. Easy access, easy menus, great listing of videos. Everything except it won’t get by the filters in our school district.

  3. Justin Thorp
    April 7, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Congrats on getting this out the door. :-)

  4. Kevin
    April 7, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    As long as these are also published on other services then I think this is great. If it’s YouTube only then we have a major problem…

  5. Nick Roberts
    April 8, 2009 at 11:11 am

    A great step towards bridging the divide divide between the LoC, active learning, and current social media!

  6. Kelly in Kansas
    April 9, 2009 at 7:21 am

    great work! I especially like the “future” plan. It’s wonderful to see such content-rich institutions do all it can to bring their vast collections to wider audiences.

  7. Sara Smile
    April 9, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I glad to see you get this project off the ground. I love the Library of Congress as the best research tool ever. You do some fantastic work for us. Thanks–keep it up.

  8. Ralph DeLuca
    April 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Great to hear. The LOC has great things in it’s archive, I am so glad more people will get the benefit of them.

    Ralph DeLuca
    Madison, NJ

  9. http://fullcourtpreps.blogspot.com/
    April 13, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Great move guys. Can’t wait to see the new stuff!

  10. JT Stone
    May 8, 2009 at 5:28 am

    I am thrilled that the LOC is finally online with YouTube. It will give people like me access to more resources.

    Thanks to all involved.

  11. James N. Reynolds
    May 27, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to put it on archive.org which is already avaialbable for this sort of archiving project?

  12. Alina
    July 12, 2009 at 3:57 am

    Great to hear. The LOC has great things in it’s archive, I am so glad more people will get the benefit of them.
    Thanks to all involved.

  13. Aleksandr
    August 26, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Excellent project!

  14. ecommerce159
    October 24, 2009 at 2:30 am

    Fabulous post. That video is really interesting. Well done guys. Thanks a lot for sharing such an incredible post with us.

  15. shilpa
    February 11, 2010 at 5:42 am

    superb!!! I love the Library of Congress as the best research tool ever. You do some fantastic work for us. Thanks–keep it up.

  16. Brovardoor
    October 7, 2010 at 5:26 am

    Very well written!

  17. feridkaplan.com
    April 27, 2011 at 4:48 am

    Great move guys. Can’t wait to see the new stuff!

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