British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Recent additions to the BUFVC Moving Image Gateway

The BUFVC Moving Image Gateway includes over 1,300 websites relating to   video, multimedia and sound materials. These have been subdivided into   over 40 subject areas. To suggest new entries or amendments, please   contact us by email or telephone or visit the Gateway at

British Council Film Collection
This collection of over 120 short films was produced by the British Council in the 1940s to promote a picture of ‘Britain and Britishness’ abroad and to present the country in a positive light during World War II. Although essentially produced as cultural propaganda, the films are extremely varied in subject matter, covering leisure activities, industry, education, the arts, science and technology as well as urban and rural life. The film The People’s Land – filmed in Technicolor and accompanied by Ralph Vaughan Williams’ evocative score – tells the story of the founding of the National Trust and is typical in its idealised presentation of Britain as a country where the idea of freedom is seen as being as much a constituent part of its traditions as the physical elements of the landscape itself. The films are free to view and the website positively encourages users to download the films, use them creatively and share the results. A series of case studies, illustrated with digitised versions of original documents and paperwork and a number of contextual essays adds value to the site’s content. The films are presented with detailed credits, original synopses, and a series of interesting facts (somewhat misleadingly called ‘Trivia’) about each film, along with links to other parts of the collection and other websites.

Khan Academy
Offering over 3,000 free courses, consisting of video lectures and tutorials stored on YouTube, this website, the brainchild of MIT and Harvard Business School Graduate, Salman Khan, claims to be at the vanguard of education’s digital future, along with other websites like Coursera, and Udacity, proferring a model of learning based on Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs). The Khan Academy offers largely courses in the Sciences as well as a smaller number in the Humanities.

Leeds Dante Podcast
Produced by the Centre for Dante Studies at Leeds University, these podcasts cover key moments in Dante’s Divina Commedia, each item consisting of an analysis of a brief passage from the poem. To help provide context another group of podcasts offers a broader look at Dante’s religious thought. There is also a series of interviews with scholars and academics about recent work on Dante and reviews of recent publications. The podcasts can be freely downloaded in MP3 format and isteners can also subscribe via iTunes.

SOAS Radio
Hosted by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and run by alumni, current students and staff at the School, SOAS Radio’s output is extremely varied, covering world music, culture and current affairs in some depth. The content has been divided into several categories to make it more easily searchable. The Academic section is grouped into various sub-headings, including African Film Podcasts, Endangered Languages, Development Matters and podcasts from the London Middle East Institute.

V&A Channel
Featuring video items on the Victoria & Albert Museum’s collections, exhibitions and events, the V&A Channel is divided into three broad categories of Things, Happenings and People. Within these subject areas users can narrow their search by categories including Art, Film, Photography, Personalities, Interiors, Textiles, Furniture, Theatre etc. The material reflects the diversity of the V&A’s collections. To name but three: an interview with Dickens’ biographer Claire Tomalin about the author’s relationship with his friend and biographer John Forster, a fly on the wall look at Private Eye magazine and this look at photographer Helene Binet’s experience of shooting Concorde.

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