Newsfilm Online Gives Students and Teachers Unprecedented Access to Archive Footage

Newsfilm Online ( gives students and staff in academic institutions unprecedented access, free of charge, to more than 65,000 film and television news stories online – the equivalent to 3,000 hours of moving image material from 1910 to 2006. The new service also includes 10 million stills and associated catalogue data from ITN Source -- the ITN/Reuters Archive -- one of the world's largest newsfilm collections.

Newsfilm Online is the outcome of a landmark, three-year collaboration between academia, the broadcasting industry and the public sector, namely the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC), ITN and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) which funded the initiative with £2.3 million of capital investment.

Murray Weston, Chief Executive of the BUFVC says: "The launch of Newsfilm Online is the result of significant public investment. This commitment recognises the value of providing long-term access to archive moving image content for learning."

"Archive newsfilm is an essential resource for researchers, and much-valued by teachers and students across a diverse range of subject disciplines. The Newsfilm Online collection includes individual news stories, unreleased content, single subject documentaries and unedited footage as well 25,000 items of supporting content, such as scripts and running orders."

Weston continues: "Newsfilm is among the most dominant media to have influenced public opinion during the 20th and 21st centuries. It is a record of people, places, attitudes and events of significant historical, social and cultural importance: from the Wall Street Crash in 1929 to the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001, and from the Queen's Coronation in 1953 to the Miner's Strikes of 1984.BUFVC has been championing the importance of newsreels and its use in academia for the last 60 years, much of which we had to salvage from tips!"

The downloadable content from Newsfilm Online can be held locally and delivered in learning environments both in and out of the lecture theatre. It can be used for independent research as well as integrated into teaching materials across a range of topics and academic levels. The massive extent of material available allows for access to news stories whose eventual value and magnitude may not have been recognised at the time of initial broadcast. Similarly available are news stories of great importance on their original transmission, which have since been relegated to obscurity.

Although only staff and students at subscribing institutions will have unlimited access to the 65,000 film items, the 10 million stills and supporting information can also be searched and browsed by the public via This online service was created and is hosted by the national data centre EDINA at the University of Edinburgh.