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British Pathe uploads its film archive to YouTube



I’ve often used clips from British Pathe so it’s great to see their archive available on YouTube.   There’s a wealth of information in there for use in geography and other subjects.  I’ve had a very quick look through and have found these examples that I would consider using based on simple searches of the material .  I’d be interested to hear from you with other clips as this looks like a fantastic resource. 



Your world in 9 minutes – would be great to get students to recreate this.  Flooding in Manchester features as does commando training.   Could use to explore what the definition of ‘your world’ would be today.  Would we include global products for example? I wonder which countries would feature.  This would fit in to the idea of the ‘geographical backpack’ that creates people’s sense of space and place.

Growing up in Welsh mining communities, I was deeply affected by the Aberfan disaster, even though I wasn’t alive.  My father was one of the engineers that were tasked with making slag heaps stable.  Also gives an interesting insight into a different landscape – there are many silent clips that could be used with classes to create the script / overview, or to start as a prompt for investigation.


In geography, we always look at slums around the world.  Why not spend a little time to explore life and conditions within the UK.  An interesting clip from the 70s.


Working in Brighton, there are many clips of the area.  Try searching for your local area to see what you can find.  The clips below could be used to describe land-use changes.  Can the students spot landmarks?

What about some earthquakes:

Or the Everest expeditions:

Finally, what about this 1961 clip from Iceland:

Nice shots of the capital and bananas being grown in geothermal greenhouses.


  1. This is very promising. Classic films have always been a treasure of any country, as it is a reflection of truth way back in the past. I think it is an admirable effort for the British Pathe to upload its archive on YouTube to share the knowledge to the younger generation. I think we should really try harder to preserve our treasures, not only by going digital but by vaulting authentic vintage film reels as well. :)

    Ruby Badcor @ Williams Data Management


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