31st March 2023

News footage is an integral part of our history, capturing historical moments in time and documenting live events as they occur. As a historical resource, it’s a fascinating asset lending itself particularly well for educational uses and television and film productions. Weaving news archive footage into productions helps bring a story to life, recreating moments in time and injecting a slice of reality. 

Our partnership with Reuters Television allows us access to over 100 years of content, documenting historical Royal footage over the years, monumental moments in time such as the Berlin Wall coming down or fast forwarding to more recent times of the Pandemic and Lockdown footage from around the world. The Reuters archive has evolved over many years, including these fascinating news collections: 

Visnews: 1957-1992 
Founded in 1957 as the British Commonwealth International Newsfilm Agency (BCINA) and later known as Visnews, it was one of the largest global independent television news suppliers. Recording monumental political and social events of the world’s modern history, it was acquired by Reuters in 1992 and continues service under Reuters Television.  
Gaumont Graphic: 1910-1932 
Gaumont Graphic Newsreels began broadcasting silent newsreels in 1910 until the launch of Gaumont Sound in 1929. The Graphic News continued as its silent counterpart for smaller cinemas which didn’t have the ability to play sound. Its reports recorded technological changes at the turn of the 20th Century including the Wrights Brothers, Zeppelin, launch of the Titanic as well as the events of World War One and many more. 

Gaumont British News: 1934-1959 
Gaumont British News was first released in 1934 and ran until 1959. The Gaumont British brand was one of the more dominant broadcasters on the market becoming increasingly influential in the presentations of news. It celebrated traditional aspects of British life such as royalty, sport and personalities, also providing a comprehensive coverage of events in Europe including the Spanish Civil War and World War II. 
Empire News Bulletin: 1927-1930 
The Empire News Bulletin was a silent newsreel launched in 1926 and was broadcast twice a week until mid 1930. The collection holds silent international moving pictures of social and political events of the time, including life of the royals, fads and fashion, disasters and triumphs of its era.  
Universal Newsreel: 1930-1949 
Universal News was the sound newsreel successor to Empire News Bulletin, launched in 1930. By 1949, Universal News had been largely absorbed by Gaumont British News and the two newsreels became essentially one, continuing to function jointly until 1956. There was also a separate reel called Universal Irish News from 1952. 
British Paramount News 1931-1957 
This was a sound newsreel that began in 1931 and provided a good range of stories from America and British royal life, including the death of King George VI and the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth. Reports from World War II were recorded alongside many other captivating human interest stories and features from the 1930s through to the 1950s. Its cameramen shot rare exclusive footage elevating Paramount News to the forefront of other news agencies at the time.  
To find out more and browse through the remarkable Reuters collection, take a look here.  

Originally published: 29/11/2022