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A Trove Of Celluloid, Primed For The Public

By Tom Huizenga | NPR
Friday, April 25, 2014

History buffs and YouTube junkies rejoice. British Pathé, the newsreel archive company, has just opened the floodgates, releasing 85,000 historic films to YouTube. Reels spotlighting Muhammad Ali, Mother Teresa, the Russian Front in World War I, a 1909 Wright Brothers flight, Queen Victoria's funeral, and countless cricket matches, merely scratch the surface of this mammoth celluloid trove, digitized in high resolution and ready to click.

There are plenty of treasures for music fanatics, too — from opera diva Maria Callas, all glam and smiles, showing off her Milan apartment, to an odd new invention called a computer that, in a reel from 1968, actually spits out a symphony of whirring blurps.

These are a few which caught our eye, giving us a chance to eavesdrop on artists from the past in an era long before television, streaming and live HD simulcasts changed the way we consume music.

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