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AP unveils digital archive of Middle East footage

The Associated Press today announced the launch of a fully digitized archive of video footage from, about and relevant to the Middle East and North Africa.

This innovative new product, AP Instant Middle East Archive, includes more than 60,000 news stories from 1900 to the present day sourced from AP Archive, the film and video archive of the AP, as well as from the world-renowned British Movietone News archive. New coverage is added every day from AP’s video newsgathering activities around the world.

“This product is simply the finest visual document of the history of the Middle East and North Africa,” said Alwyn Lindsey, AP’s director of international archives. “It is a must for any news organization that is serious about covering the region.”

AP Instant Middle East Archive is part of a suite of new products that have emerged from the AP’s efforts to digitize its vast news archive and enhance a platform that allows easy viewing and downloading of AP’s footage in broadcast quality. Other new offerings include, AP Instant Library, Instant AP News and AP Instant British Movietone Archive.  
AP Instant Middle East Archive charts the history of the region, documenting such key events as World War I and II, the crisis in Palestine and the founding of Israel, the Arab-Israeli conflict, war in Lebanon, revolution in Iran and both Gulf wars.  It also includes more recent footage from the Arab Spring, the upheavals in Egypt and the Syrian civil war. Significant events that took place outside the region are also included, such as the Camp David peace accords, the 1972 Olympics in Munich and the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Among the personalities featured prominently are Lawrence of Arabia, King Idris of Libya, King Faisal of Iraq, Golda Meir, Moammar Gadhafi, Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein and the Shah of Iran. The economy of the region is also covered extensively, as well as the development of the oil industry and the rise of the Gulf States. Other areas of interest include the arts, religion, culture, entertainment and sports.

The AP Instant Middle East Archive, available via the AP Archive website, is offered on an annual subscription basis and aimed mainly at broadcast and online news producers. Traditionally, archive footage is licensed on a per use basis, but uniquely, subscribers to the AP Instant Middle East Archive pay one fixed annual fee with no cap on usage.

“We think this groundbreaking approach will prove attractive to news organizations that need fixed-cost content solutions,” Lindsey said.


Paul Colford
Director of Media Relations
The Associated Press

Erin Madigan White
Senior Media Relations Manager
The Associated Press

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