Lauren Oostveen digs through some of the 7,000 films in the Nova Scotia Public Archives, which has decided to make some historic gems available to the public online. (CBC)
The Nova Scotia Archives has posted almost 100 films online, allowing greater access to some of the province’s most celebrated moments, from Babe Ruth’s visit to the Bluenose’s last race.
About 7,000 films are kept in the archives, which recently put 96 on YouTube and its website for a fresh look at the past.
The 24 hours of film include footage shot just after the 1917 Halifax Explosion, the ferry terminal in Halifax in the 1930s, and Winston Churchill’s wartime visit to the city.
“This is the largest digitization of archival film in Canada,” project co-ordinator Lauren Oostveen said.
The film shot after the explosion is among the oldest in Canada. Scenes of people walking across the desolate, snow-covered landscape of Halifax’s north end just days after the disaster were shown in Boston so New Englanders could see why they were being asked for donations.
Churchill, who is immortalized in a large statue in front of Halifax’s main library, appears in a colour film, rallying support for the Second World War.
A 1938 snippet, shot by celebrated photographer W. R. MacAskill, shows the original schooner Bluenose in its final race, while another clip shows New York Yankee legend Babe Ruth playing golf on the Ashburn course.
Oostveen said about half the film was shot by amateurs and most of it has never before been seen by the public.
“Strange stuff captured on film,” she said with a laugh. “It really opens up the history of filmmaking in the province. You see these images captured, see people, communities and special events.”
She said thousands of films remain in storage, but the institution plans to digitize more as money becomes available.
CBC News – Nova Scotia – Historic N.S. films posted to YouTubeIn Canada on September 26, 2010 at 08:23