CriticalPast Introduces One of the World’s Largest Online Archives

by , June 7, 2010
Critical Past On the 3rd of June, CriticalPast announced the launch of CriticalPast.com, an absolutely astonishing archive of historic footage and photographic images: Press Release on Business Wire

From the press release:

CriticalPast’s library of more than 57,000 video clips is drawn from government sources and digitized, making it easy for users to search CriticalPast’s extensive collection, then stream or download a video. Videos in a customer’s requested format are available for download in minutes, rather than in days or weeks. CriticalPast is unmatched in offering immediate downloads and a choice of more than 10 image formats for every clip on its website. Also, as a result of its unique technology, CriticalPast has generated a never-before-seen collection of over seven million historic still images, which are created from moving video images at a cadence of one per second.

We're quite pleased as well, not only because of the launch of such an excellent resource, but because we get to brag a little bit, too. See that bit about "download in minutes, rather than in days or weeks," and "unmatched in offering immediate downloads"? For the file transfer component (when you download rather than stream) of CriticalPast's technology, they have implemented FileCatalyst acceleration. With a global customer base, CriticalPast wanted to make sure that no matter what geographical region a client connected from, they would get the best possible transfer speed. As most of you will already know, FTP and HTTP can't make that promise... but FileCatalyst can! Bragging aside, you should really check out the site. The collection is impressive, and I found myself simply amazed at watching the footage. It's only when you're watching that kind of film that you can really put yourself in the time and place. As I stumbled across videos like this one showing some levity in wartime (the soldiers dancing at the end was charming), I found myself becoming acutely aware of the importance of this footage. Found some interesting clips related to Jazz music as well-- like this one of Louis Armstrong. And that's just browsing. I can imagine this being an important resource for researchers, historians, and academics, as well as for people who want to learn more about events that may have played a role in their own or their family's history. Simply fascinating.

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