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Historical perspectives

Back to the future: We digitize the Reuters archive

Our Reuters archive, which dates back to the 1896 coronation of Tsar Nicholas II, is famous for how far it looks back. Now, it’s also an asset being prepared for the future.

The digitization of the Reuters archive is currently making hundreds of thousands of rare and largely unseen news clips available to clients around the world, enabling us to pursue new opportunities in digital.

To date, over 115,000 Reuters clips have already been digitized and published on, expanding the Reuters digital archive to 450,000 clips and counting.

Why digital archive video?

Many of the exciting opportunities for our archive will require and expect the content to be available in a digital format, and, where available, in HD. As well as serving a strong business need, this partnered digitization with ITN Source, the footage licensing division of leading news and multimedia content provider ITN, will also preserve this unique material for the benefit of future generations.

Ashley Byford-Bates, global head of Reuters Pictures and Archive said: “Having our assets in digital format is critical – it gives our clients and prospects a real opportunity to explore the footage and enables us to penetrate new markets.

“With over 30,000 hours of content now preserved, we can now focus on the really exciting tasks of enabling the exploitation, utilization and development of new programs, projects and partnerships.”

Which historical footage is at the top of the list?

ITN Source’s researchers have prioritized the digitization of material relevant to upcoming anniversaries and events, such as the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the 70th anniversary of the second Sino-Japanese war, as well as material for specific client requests for content relating to active projects. Footage is being digitized from a number of early cinema newsreels in the Reuters collection, including Paramount and Gaumont British, plus footage from 1957 to 2006 which formed the Reuters News syndication service. The three-year project is set to finish in 2016.

Take a look at our historical video content, captured over three centuries:

Learn more

Visit to request access – via a 30-day no obligation free trial – to our content and news archive.

Browse our company history dating back to 1799 or contact our archive staff directly for a deeper dive into the Thomson Reuters Archives.

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