British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Gateway updates and additions

Here are a few of the interesting items that have recently been added to the Moving Image Gateway in the last week.

British Academy Audio Archive
The British Academy’s Media Library holds a collection of audio recordings of lectures, discussions, seminars, conversations and other events that have been held at the BA in recent years and streams them for on-demand listening online. As the UK’s national body for for the humanities and social sciences the British Academy hosts an extensive range of lecture series covering areas such as Biblical archaeology, poetry, Shakespeare, philosophy art, history, Celtic studies, law, economics, anthropology, psychology, given by eminent people in the field.

Creative England
This is the new body that will support the growth of the creative industries throughout England and it has embarked upon its first stage of formation by outlining proposed strategic priorities for film for its first year of operation. The new body will effectively replace the Regional Screen Agencies outside London in supporting both the ‘screen-related’ sector of film and television, as well as the wider creative industries such as games, digital, new media, design and fashion. The three core film priorities proposed are developing creative talent, nurturing film culture, and helping to maximise inward investment. A public consultation on these proposals is open until 31 March.

This English language resource from The Netherlands comes with a bold strapline: ‘A 21st century window on the world’. It aims to provide a range of original documentaries and news reports from around the world reflecting the views of local video journalists. It was created for TV transmission by the VPRO broadcaster in Hilversum in Holland but the programmes are currently also screened in Belgium and Nicaragua. Each week the reporters provide programming on a designated topic such as ‘what’s it like to be an outcast, to be 15, to be gay, to be a senior citizen’ and so on. All broadcasts are offered with English language subtitles.

Open Images
Open Images describes itself as an ‘… open media platform that offers online access to audiovisual archive material to stimulate creative reuse’. Based in Holland, this is an initiative of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision which seeks to offer content from audiovisual collections that can be downloaded and remixed into new works under a Creative Commons Licensing model. It makes use of open video formats (Ogg Theora) and open standards (HTML5, OAI-PMH). It currently holds nearly 1,400 items from the 1919 to the present day with contributors encouraged to upload content. Titles can be searched by language (English and Dutch) and period but also in terms of the specifics of end-user licensing conditions. Along with newsreels and lectures there are also items on a wide variety of topics including sport, science and nature, politics, sport and the arts. The search interface is simple and easy to use though the resource, while fascinating and in many ways a model of its kind, is desperately bare when it comes to providing information on how to search its actual content.

Open University OpenLearn
Launched in 2006, the Open University’s OpenLearn website has grown to provide over 8000 study hours of video, audio and print materials from OU courses. New course materials continue to be regularly added to the LearningSpace section of the website. It is not necessary to be a student of the OU to use the resources. OpenLearn does not of itself grant degrees or award credits, but there is a link for those who wish to consider formal Study at the OU. LearningSpace units are divided up into the subject areas of Body & Mind, Education, History & the Arts, Languages, Money & Management, Nature & Environment, Science, Maths & Technology, and Society. There is substantial video content included (Flash).
In 2010 OpenLearn merged with, the site that supported OU-produced BBC general programming. So now OpenLearn also gives access to topical and interactive content, from expert blogs, to videos and games that enrich these programmes.

University of Cambridge Department of Archaeology: Personal Histories Project
The Personal Histories Project is an on going, educational, oral-history research initiative at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in which senior scientists are invited to share their memories and life stories in order that, through their personal recollections, we can better understand the development of twentieth century archaeology and the origins of current research agenda. These talks are filmed and made available for online viewing and DVDs are available for use in teaching. The collection currently focuses on David Attenborough and also includes compilation featuring, among others, contributions from Colin Renfrew, Mike Schiffer, Meg Conkey, Henrietta Moore, Richard Bradley, Chris Stringer, Meave Leakey.

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