The U.S. National Archives, the official record-keeping agency for all of America, announced something pretty awesome today: it has uploaded a bunch of old historical videos, photos, animations, and other media as free GIFs on the popular search engine Giphy. You can get these free historical GIFs here and use them however you want!
Each little animated gem of history includes a link to its page in the National Archives online database, for more information.
The Natty Archives (as we like to say) has also added the ability to search for its GIFs and share them directly on Twitter: click the GIF button when composing a tweet and search “ArchivesGIF.” A handy option for when you absolutely must share your love of retro science nostalgia. Take your love of the graphics interchange format to another level at the agency’s “Advanced GIF-Making Techniques” webinar class coming up next week on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, from 3 pm-4 pm ET, hosted by the Digital Public Library of America. The classes promises to show you how to make your own GIFs from archive images.
See the full collection here, and check out these seven highlights from the archives:
John Glenn At Work
A gif taken from The John Glenn Story, a biography on the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth in 1962. The archives include the full film, which spans Glenn’s childhood in New Concord, Ohio, his combat pilot service, and highlights from piloting Friendship 7.
Harpers Ferry Center created a compilation of over 550 sites for park interpretive centers and exhibits. The series was created in 1970, but some of the material used dates back to 1917. Here, people dance in a circle around a massive tree in Sequioa National Park. So jaunty.
The Plight Of The Avrocar
Footage from a recording of the Avrocar, a Canadian project developed by Avro Aircraft Ltd. during the Cold War. The “a saucer-shaped vehicle with new transition control, flight demonstrations displaying its ability to operate from ground cushion to in-flight over unprepared terrain and ditches,” the Archives notes. It was deemed a failure and lost funding in 1961, as it could only fly a few feet off the ground and would get extremely hot and loud when it was in action.
Dogs <3 National Parks, Too
A scene from a black and white 35 mm film from 1924 by Ford Motor Company, promoting national parks.
Bookmobile Comin’ Thru
An image from the 1961 film The Day The Books Went Blank, which “portrays a mythical day when all printed pages go blank and libraries vanish,” as a dystopian warning for society without libraries. The “Vermont book wagon” races through the streets in this clip.
A Stroll In Space
Ed White taking history’s first space walk in 1965, used in the 1968 documentary America in Space – The First Decade. From the archives, where the full film is available: “This film provides a 10-year history of National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) role in the exploration of space. It describes major accomplishments in aeronautics, atmospheric research, the use of scientific and applications satellites, studies of the moon and planets, and manned space flight.”