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The results of the survey have now been integrated into the Researcher’s Guide to Screen Heritage. This website is a comprehensive directory of the publicly accessible sources of material related to the history of moving images and sound in the United Kingdom. It combines the former BUFVC Researcher’s Guide Online (RGO) with a new directory of artefacts produced by the UK Screen Heritage Network, with the support of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council Renaissance fund.

Here you can search for both moving image content and artefacts, as well as sound collections across the UK. The Advanced Artefacts search enables you to refine your search across ten categories including TV, Video and Digital, Animation, Film-making, Sets and Costumes, Cinema and Sound. The Guide to Screen Artefacts gives details as to what kind of objects might be found in each section. It provides a fascinating view of collections, both institutional and individual, across the country reflecting what has been collected and what still needs to be done.

Saturday 18 October is international Home Movie Day. Here Lisa Kerrigan, one of the organisers of the London Home Movie Day explains more about it and why it’s important.

‘On Saturday October 18, archivists and film lovers around the world
will take time out of the vaults to help the public learn about,
enjoy, and rescue films forgotten with the advent of home video.

Home Movie Day shows how home movies on 8mm, Super8 and 16mm film
offer a unique view of decades past, and are an essential part of
personal, community, and cultural history.

Home Movie Day returns to London this year at the Curzon Soho cinema
bar. It’s a free event and open to everyone. There will be a Film
Clinic, offering free film examinations by volunteer film archivists.

After examination, the films can be passed to one of the
projectionists, who will be continuously screening home movies
throughout the day.

You don’t need to bring a film to attend and enjoy the event;
everyone has a chance to win prizes generously donated by the BFI and
Wellcome Collection just by viewing any of the films on the day.
Prizes include BFI DVDs and tickets to the IMAX.

The archivists can also offer advice about preserving films in film
archives around the UK and transferring films to other formats such
as DVD so they’re more easily watchable in the home.’

For more information visit the Home Movie Day website.

The Cinema Museum has won a temporary reprieve according to an article in Time Out this week.  It was due to close at the end of this month after the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, the owners of the building, had decided to sell out.  However, the Trust has agreed to allow the museum to remain for another two months before selling it at the end of May.  The news isn’t up on the Cinema Museum website yet but well worth visiting to experience the guided tour.

The Movieum

On 22nd February a new museum, the Movieum, opened at County Hall in London. It claims to take visitors behind the scenes of the British film industry through its use of moving image artefacts to chart the production process. The Movieum of London website describes itself in these terms

‘The Movieum is a movie museum that goes behind-the-scenes of the British film industry, showcasing the great UK talent that has produced some of the world’s most famous movies, whilst at the same time displaying the wonderful creative process that they are part of. From the history of Pinewood and Elstree Studios, through to the individual departments that come together to create a film, including Special Effects, Animatronics, Make Up, Wardrobe and much more, there is something for everyone in this entertaining and educational experience. Featuring real sets, props and movie equipment, unseen behind-the-scenes footage, and a walk through the film making process.’

It has already been reviewed favourably The Times whilst The Telegraph emphasises the passion behind the collection, claiming that those looking for a comprehensive, well curated exhibition will be disappointed. I haven’t managed to get down there yet, is it all it claims to be??

Following on from MeCCSA’s Future of Screen Heritage symposium held in September 2007 at Roehampton, this one day conference (supported by the BUFVC) on Saturday 15 March 2008, University of Leeds seeks to ‘reassesses aspects of the institutional and intellectual links which exist between our film archives and our universities, and explores how they might develop and strengthen.’ The following speakers and presentations will not only raise issues ranging from digitised to content to copyright, and challenges they bring, but also provoke discussion and debate.

Confirmed keynote speakers are:
Charles Barr (Washington University in St. Louis)
Nicholas Pronay (University of Leeds)

Confirmed presentations from:
Claude Mussou (Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, Paris)
Johan Oomen (Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Hilversum)
Patrick Russell (BFI, London)
Justin Smith (University of Portsmouth)
Richard Taylor (East Anglian Film Archive, Norwich)
Peter Todd (BFI, London)

Delegate fees are £30 concessionary rate; £40 standard rate; £50 for
registrations after March 7th. Fees include lunch and refreshments. To register your interest in attending, and for other information phone or send an email to:

Sarah Ventress
Research Officer
Institute of Communications Studies

Email: S.A.Ventress@leeds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (113) 343 5805

Full registration forms and payment details to be made available shortly, via the Institute of Communications Studies and Louis Le Prince websites.

Organised by the Louis Le Prince Centre for Cinema, Photography and
Television, Institute of Communication Studies, University of Leeds.

Supported by the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association, Practice Section (MeCCSA Practice); and by the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC).

The survey has uncovered small collections that often dip below the radar because they are held by organisations other than museums and archives and Anti-Slavery International is a good example of one of these. Founded in 1839, it is one of the world’s oldest international human rights organisations and has a significant collection of magic lantern slides dating from the early twentieth century. These were used by the Congo Reform Association in their campaign to raise awareness about the abuses taking place in the Belgian Congo, revealing valuable context as to how this aspect of our screen heritage was utilised to inform and persuade as well as entertain.

Anti-Slavery International Magic Lantern Slide Collection

“Two youths from the Equator District. the hands of Mola, seated, have been destroyed by gangrene after being tied too tightly by soldiers. The right hand of Yoka standing was cut off by soldiers wanting to claim him as killed.” Circa 1904 Alice Harris / Anti-Slavery International.

Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904), the pioneering photographer who changed the history of the moving image, was born and grew up in Kingston upon Thames. He moved to the United States in 1852 where he developed his interest in analytical motion photography, eventually producing in the 1880s an exhaustive series of photographs, Animal Locomotion. The most famous of these were his galloping horse pictures and later experimented in synthesising motion from photography to prove the authenticity of them.

Zoopraxiscope from Kingston Museum

Zoopraxiscope courtesy of Kingston Museum (click on thumbnail to obtain a larger image)

He did this using the Zoopraxiscope, a device which projected a series of images from glass discs, basically a projecting version of the old Phenakisticsope or ‘spinning picture disk’. In the 1890s he returned to Kingston and on his death in 1904 left his equipment and prints to Kingston Museum. The museum displays the original Zoopraxiscope moving image projector, Muybridge’s biunial lantern with which he delivered his famous lecture tours on the ‘Attitudes of Animals in Motion’, a rare panorama of San Francisco (1878) and assorted packing crates and ephemera. The reserve collection (viewable by appointment) includes Muybridge’s lantern slides, zoopraxiscope discs, prints and a newspaper cutting book which Muybridge kept of his career and achievements.

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