In addition to these Web 2.0 enterprises, the Library has begun sharing content from its vast video collections on the YouTube web service as part of a continuing initiative to make its incomparable treasures more widely accessible to a broad audience.
A channel on the video service is devoted to Library content, including lectures with authors and scholars and film presentations from the American Memory collections.
Not surprisingly, videos of Library content already exist on YouTube. From a behind-the-scenes look at the Harry Houdini collection with Penn and Teller and a Jimmy Buffet concert to fan-made videos of Thomas Jefferson Building tours and compilations of assets already available on the Library’s website, unofficial presentations are already popular.
Official Library YouTube offerings include films from the Thomas Edison studio. Beginning in the late 1880s, Edison's labs not only built the equipment for filming and projecting films but also produced popular content for the new medium. These films, more than 100 years old, are valuable not only for historical purposes but also for their unique subject matter. Boxing cats anyone? Or how about the muscle pageantry of Sandow, “the father of modern bodybuilding?” Another highlight is the first movie ever made, a recording of a sneeze, no less. Gesundheit!
Classic industrial films from the Westinghouse Works, produced in April-May 1904, are also available on the Library’s YouTube channel. The companies that made up the Westinghouse Works prided themselves on being modern and progressive. This opinion is probably what led them to allow motion pictures to be taken of the working conditions in these plants. Most prominently featured are the Westinghouse Air Brake Company, the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company and the Westinghouse Machine Company.
In fact, the Library’s Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division has remastered both of these collections for YouTube viewing. They are also available at an even higher resolution on the Library’s site, further supporting the institution’s goal of being the mint repository of the nation’s history.
Additionally, author talks from the National Book Festival and the Library’s Books & Beyond program, lectures given by John W. Kluge Center scholars and collection presentations given by Library curators are also featured.