British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

The Learning on Screen Gateway – 2,000 ways to access moving image and sound resources

Learning on Screen’s Gateway includes 2,000 websites relating to moving image 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 (020 7393 1500).

IFI Player
The IFI Player presents a freely available selection of material from the collections of the Irish Film Archive. Feature films, animations, documentaries, adverts, amateur films, travelogues and newsreels tell the story of Irish social, political and cultural history in moving images. The site features a wealth of fascinating material – from this award winning film about W.B. Yeats to a Telecom Eireann advert in which Bob Geldof warns of the idiocy of vandalising public telephones. Other films explore the Troubles, the events of Easter 1916, the Irish emigrant experience in America, the Irish landscape, tourism and religion. Users can search by keyword, browse by genre, or explore the curated collections section. Some of the films are accompanied by classroom worksheets for teachers and students.

Japanese Animated Film Classics
Celebrating a century of Japanese animation, this fascinating selection of short films, which are all available to view online, spans the years 1917 – 1941. The 64 films, curated by The Film Centre at Tokyo’s National Museum of Modern Art, include the oldest surviving Japanese animated film – ‘The Dull Sword’, from 1917 – which was believed to be lost until a print was found in 2008 in an Osaka antique shop. The other films include public information films, propaganda, fairy tales, fables and historical drama. The site is available in Japanese and English language versions and all the films have English titles and subtitles.

NASA Image and Video Library
Over 140,000 images, videos and audio files, are freely available on NASA’s new Image and Video Library. The content has been aggregated from NASA’s agencies across the USA and around the world and the database is fully searchable, indexed by keywords and can be filtered by media type. Each entry also includes the link to its original site. In general most NASA material is not copyrighted and can be freely used for informational or educational purposes. More information on rights and restrictions can be found here.

Syrian Archive
This database was created by two Berliners to document and catalogue atrocities in the Syrian war. As of April 2017 the site has records of nearly 4,000 separate incidents, accompanied by video footage and indexed according to ten categories, including Violation of children’s rights; Use of illegal weapons; Unlawful attacks and Alleged Civilian Casualties from Russian attacks. The resource is intended for journalists, researcher, human rights organisations, activists and any group with an interest in the conflict. It is also intended to function as a repository of evidence for future historians. The United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as lawyers and activists around the world, have all made use of the archive. This article on the Deutsche Welle website, features comments from the site’s creators, who talk about their reasons for making it, along with some of the problems they have faced, particularly the difficulties of verifying sources in a war zone

Please note: the nature of this resource means that some of the footage is extremely graphic.

Teletext Art Research Lab
Teletext was a television information service which introduced to British television in 1974 and became familiar to UK viewers as Ceefax on the BBC and Oracle on ITV. This site is dedicated to the preservation, celebration and analysis of the service and features a podcast, articles, archived pages from the service, and even an application that allows you to create your own Teletext page. Clearly a labour of love, the site’s crowning glory is a teletext time machine: a fully interactive Ceefax service for the 20th July 1979.

TV Tropes
This entertaining, informative and extremely diverting site attempts to categorise, index and contextualise tropes – storytelling devices or conventions – as they appear in television programmes, films, games, music, literature, and other media. There are four main indexes: Genre Tropes, Media Tropes, Narrative Tropes and Topical Tropes. Each of these main headings is further subdivided so that under the Narrative Trope heading, for example, one can explore Characters, Conflict, Motifs Settings etc., down to a microscopic level of detail. The site began in 2004, primarily focusing on the television series ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’. Since then it has vastly expanded its scope to cover most types of media. Users can explore by series or trope. Each series entry features a list of tropes associated with that series, whereas users exploring by trope (British Teeth, for example) will find a list of that trope’s appearance in television, film, literature etc. Although the approach is often humorous the site represents an invaluable resource for anyone interested in exploring or analysing the building blocks of storytelling and narrative construction, in any medium, but particularly television.


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