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Archive for December, 2007

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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Winner of Apple iTouch

Steve Chibnall, Professor of British Cinema at De Montfort University, is the winner of the Apple iTouch. In an informal ceremony Murray Weston, Chief Executive of the British Universities Film & Video Council, pulled the lucky slip of paper out of a large paper clip container earlier today.

The Chibnall British Cinema Collection is a private archive of around 10,000 artefacts, primarily consisting of posters, lobby cards, stills, scripts and especially press books (c. 2000), forms the principal resource of the communal archive of the British Cinema and Television Research Goup which functions within De Montfort University’s Faculty of Humanities. Particular elements of interest within it are a few 1930s set designs by Alfred Junge for BIP (original photographs for set construction) and material owned by the late historians Denis Gifford and John Huntley. Research access to the collection is by appointment only.

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Odeon Cinemas 1935-39

Odeon Cinema, Parsons Hill, Woolwich, London

Odeon Cinema, Parsons Hill, Woolwich, London, October 1937. Reference no: BB87/03661. Copyright English Heritage. NMR.

The National Monuments Record, the public archive of English Heritage, holds a wide range of collections covering the built and archaeological landscape from the prehistoric period to the cold war. Photographs form the largest part of our holdings and a number of these feature cinemas. The most important group is a collection of 1200 photographs taken by John Maltby of Odeon cinemas in England between 1935 and 1939. Together they form a remarkable visual record of the interior and exterior design of this chain of cinemas, which formed such a part of the everyday experience of people from that time. All of these images can be viewed via the Viewfinder database.

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