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07 JULY 2015

Britain on Film: collection of archive footage goes online today

"Around 2,500 films including home movies, documentaries and news footage from Victorian times up to the 1980s is now available online.

The grainy footage is of dozens of shifty men in flat caps, smoking cigarettes, talking to each other in a market square, some exchanging money, others nervously keeping watch. And then men in trilbies spring from nowhere, making arrests and bundling people into vans. The remarkable surveillance footage is from 1935 and is significant because it was the first film used as evidence in a British court of law. Police, or specifically PC Saunders – proudly named in the end credit – filmed what was an illegal betting ring going on in Chesterfield’s market square.

The film is one of around 2,500 from the BFI archives – that are now accessible online, via the BFI Player, from Tuesday as part of a huge project called Britain on Film. They include home movies, documentaries and news footage from Victorian times to as recently as 1980."

(Mark Brown, 07 July 2015)




1935BFI • BFI archives • BFI National Archive • BFI Player • Britain on Film • British Film Institute • court of law • cultural heritagedigitisation projectfilm archive • flat cap • grainy footage • illegal behaviour • illegal betting ring • market square • national cultural heritage onlinenational film archivenews footagepolice • shifty men • social history • surveillance footage • trilby


Simon Perkins
17 APRIL 2014

British Pathe releases 85,000 films on YouTube

"Newsreel archive British Pathé has uploaded its entire collection of 85,000 historic films, in high resolution, to its YouTube channel. This unprecedented release of vintage news reports and cinemagazines is part of a drive to make the archive more accessible to viewers all over the world.

'Our hope is that everyone, everywhere who has a computer will see these films and enjoy them,' says Alastair White, General Manager of British Pathé. 'This archive is a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten. Uploading the films to YouTube seemed like the best way to make sure of that.'

British Pathé was once a dominant feature of the British cinema experience, renowned for first–class reporting and an informative yet uniquely entertaining style. It is now considered to be the finest newsreel archive in existence. Spanning the years from 1896 to 1976, the collection includes footage–not only from Britain, but from around the globe–ofmajor events, famous faces, fashion trends, travel, sport and culture. The archive is particularly strong in its coverage of the First and Second World Wars.

Alastair White continues: 'Whether you're looking for coverage of the Royal Family, the Titanic, the destruction of the Hindenburg, or quirky stories about British pastimes, it'll be there on our channel. You can lose yourself for hours.'

This project is being managed by German company Mediakraft, which has been responsible for numerous past YouTube successes. The company will be creating new content using British Pathé material, in English and in foreign languages."

(The British Pathé Archive, 17 April 2014)



1896 • 1976 • Alastair White • amateur photographerarchival materialarchiveBritish filmBritish PatheBritish Royal Family • cinemagazine • cosmeticscultural collecting organisationscultural heritagedigitisation project • Edward Curtis • factory girlfactory workerfilm archive • film collection • filmed news stories • First World War • footagehair styling • heat exchanger • heat pump • Hindenburg disaster • historic filmhistorical collection • holiday camp • Mediakraft • national cultural heritage onlinenews reportnewsreel • newsreel archive • pastimes • Playboy Bunny • Playboy Club • promotion and dissemination • RMS Titanic • sea travel • Second World Warshort subjectssocial history • Titanic disaster • travelogue • vintage films • WWIWWIIYouTubeYouTube channel


Simon Perkins
15 JULY 2012

The New Zealand Film Archive

"Established in 1981, the Film Archive is an independent charitable trust overseen by a Board of Trustees representing film, archival, Maori and community interests. The Film Archive's constitution and kaupapa express a commitment to collect, protect and connect New Zealand's film and television history.

When an item is in the care of the Archive, it is considered the property of the depositor. Subsequently the copyright for the material remains with the legal rights holders.

The collections of predominantly New Zealand film, video and television date from 1895 to the present day. Every genre of filmmaking – feature films, documentaries, short films, home movies, newsreels, television programmes and film and television advertisements – is represented. There is also a significant documentation collection which includes publicity materials, stills, posters, production records, props, costumes and equipment housed in Wellington.

As there is no statutory deposit legislation for film in New Zealand, material is deposited voluntarily – and without cost to the depositor. Maintaining a kaitiaki role over the collections the Film Archive's guardianship ensures ownership of the original item remains with the depositor and copyright is maintained by the appropriate parties. In the case of material with Maori content, the Film Archive actively maintains relationships with whanau/hapu/iwi to ensure appropriate long term care and access."

(New Zealand Film Archive)



18951981advertisementAotearoa New ZealandarchivalarchiveAustralasia • care and access • collectioncostumecultural heritagedocumentarydocumentationfeature film • film advertisement • film and television history • film archivefilm historyfilmmaking • guardianship • hapu • home movie • independent charitable trust • iwilegal rights holders • long term access • long term care • long term care and access • moving imageNew Zealand cinemaNew Zealand cultureNew Zealand Film ArchivenewsreelNZ Film Archive • production records • publicity materials • publicity posters • publicity stills • short filmtelevision advertisement • television history • television programmeWellington • whana


Simon Perkins
12 APRIL 2012

BFI National Archive: Inview online

"Welcome to BFI InView. Here you will find over 2,000 non–fiction film and television titles from the 20th century to the early 21st. InView is easily searchable, comprehensively catalogued and clearly organised under six main Themes, each with an introductory essay by an academic historian."

(British Film Institute, 2009)



Simon Perkins
11 MAY 2011

Video Data Bank: video art by and about contemporary artists

"Founded in 1976 at the inception of the media arts movement, the Video Data Bank (VDB) is a leading resource in the United States for video art by and about contemporary artists. A not–for–profit organization located at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the VDB Collections include the work of more than 550 artists and 6,000 video art titles, 2,500+ in active distribution.

The VDB makes its Collections available to museums, galleries, educational institutions, libraries, cultural institutions and exhibitors through a national and international distribution service, and works to foster a deeper understanding of video art, and to broaden access and exposure to media art histories, through its programs and activities. These include: preservation of historically important works of video art; the perpetuation of analog and digital archives; publishing of curated programs and artists' monographs; the commissioning of essays and texts that contextualize artists' work; and an extensive range of public programs.

The VDB is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art, and the Illinois Arts Council, an agency of the state."

(Video Data Bank, School of the Art Institute of Chicago)

Fig.1 Videofreex (1970) 'Women's Lib Demonstration NYC', 00:23:30, United States, English, B&W, Mono, 4:3



1976archivesartavant-gardecollectionscontemporary artistsfilm archive • Illinois Arts Council • librarymedia art • media arts movement • National Endowment for the Arts • not-for-profitresourceSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago • VDB • video artVideo Data Bank


Simon Perkins

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