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National Archives Selling Historic Films on Amazon

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Amazon and a California subsidiary, CustomFlix Labs, will make and sell DVDs of footage from the Universal Newsreel collection in the National Archives. according to the Washington Post.

The first six DVDs became available on Amazon July 16 and include scenes of the famous 1959 “Kitchen Debate” between then-Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in a model American kitchen on display in Moscow. Other footage shows a youthful Fidel Castro after the communist revolution in Cuba, along with reports about Hawaii becoming a state, and the Soviet space program.

The DVDs from the CustomFlix Labs DVD on Demand program are produced only when a customer makes a purchase and can be delivered within 24 hours.

While the deal is a boon for the National Archives and Amazon, it’s less than fabulous for smaller footage archives, who can’t compete with the $19.95 charge.

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