British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Researcher’s Guide to Screen Heritage

Guide to Screen Artefacts

We have organised the vast range of Screen Heritage artefacts into ten broad categories. Each of these categories is broken down into a list of artefacts.

  • Animation

    Artefacts relating to the making of animation and special effects, from concept to final production.

    Image credit: Animation cel of Napoleon from Animal Farm 1954-1955 (The Halas and Batchelor Collection Ltd)

    Articulated models controlled by rods, wires or radio signals by a puppeteer.
    Pre-production artwork including concepts, character and style sheet drawings, storyboards, animators’ drawings, cels and backgrounds.
    Computer Software
    Computer animation, motion control and motion capture software and associated artefacts.
    Puppets and Models
    Maquettes, animated puppets and armatures used in animation and special effects production.
    Miniature sets used in model animation and special effects production.
    Special Effects
    Artefacts created for special effects sequences, eg creatures, and associated technology.
    Animation: Other
  • Cinema

    The means of presentation of moving images to audiences, both public and private, including buildings and their design, and equipment used to show them.

    Image credit: 35mm projector for the Urban-Smith Kinemacolor process, 1908-1915 (National Media Museum)

    The paraphernalia found in projection boxes such as rewinders, splicers, etc.
    Those cinema buildings preserved in original or near-original condition.
    Cinema Fittings
    Fittings, including seats, decorative features, ticket machines, front-of-house signs and fitments, and uniforms.
    Plans and Designs
    Architects’ plans and concept drawings of cinema buildings.
    Projectors and Lenses
    Film and video projection systems of all gauges and aspect ratios (eg CinemaScope), used for showing moving images in cinemas and other public places, and at home.
    Sound Reproduction
    All forms of sound reproduction equipment associated with the presentation of screen media – sound followers, audio/projector synchronisation, amplifiers and speakers.
    Cinema: Other
  • Documents

    Possibly the widest category, this includes production and business documents, publicity materials, personal papers and printed material for all screen media.

    Image credit: British Parammount News address books, 1940s (BUFVC)

    Business Records
    Contracts, company documents and reports
    All forms of catalogues for equipment, accessories and software, etc related to screen media.
    Personal and business correspondence connected with the creation and dissemination of screen media.
    Cue Sheets
    Music and dubbing cue sheets, camera reports, bar breakdowns and other documentation produced during the production process.
    Diaries and Memoirs
    Manuscript diaries and memoirs of personalities associated with the screen media eg creators, industry personnel, critics and commentators.
    Lobby Cards
    Photographic or printed pictures promoting films, used for advertising in cinemas.
    Technical and instruction manuals for equipment and software associated with screen media.
    Manuscript scores and printed sheet music used in the production and presentation of screen media.
    Script and Treatments
    Manuscripts produced at different stages of the production process
    Visualisations of shots and sequences produced in the production planning process.
    Personal Papers
    Collections of manuscripts of personalities associated with the moving image. (eg creators, industry personnel, critics and commentators).
    Artwork and printed posters promoting screen media.
    Production/Publicity Photographs
    Pictures relating to screen media and all its outputs – from production through to architectural records to promotional and personal photographs.
    Promotional Literature
    Printed material, including press packs, press books, leaflets and souvenir programmes.
    Documents: Other
  • Film-making

    Equipment related to the production of analogue and digital moving images, both professional and amateur.

    Image credit: Technicolor three-strip camera, 1932 (National Media Museum)

    Cameras and Lenses
    Cameras of all types (eg high-speed, digital cinema) or gauges (from 65mm to 4.75mm) and associated lenses.
    Equipment used in editing, from Moviolas to Avid, together with related paraphernalia such as edge-numbering machines and film benches.
    Processing apparatus, including printers and equipment for sound transfer and digital print production.
    Studio and location lighting and associated equipment. Much of this equipment is used also in television and video production.
    Tripods, heads, dollies, cranes and other equipment used to carry and/or move cameras.
    Film-making: Other
  • Installations

    Artwork and light show presentations, and the equipment used to present them.

    Image credit: NPG 6526 Susan Adele Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield by Tom Phillips Computer-processed drawings and video, 1999-2000 Commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, 2000. © National Portrait Gallery, London.

    The work produced by the artist, conceptual or developmental material and associated installation/presentation documentation.
    Apparatus associated with the presentation of individual artworks.
    Holographic moving images.
    Light Shows
    Material presented in the form of light shows with associated equipment and software or installation/presentation instructions.
    Installations: Other
  • Projection & Viewing

    All non-film and non-video projection systems.

    Image credit: Hand-painted magic lantern slide, 19th century (National Media Museum)

    Associated Material
    Projection accessories, lanternists’ notes, etc.
    Various forms of illuminants for magic lantern projectors.
    Magic Lanterns
    Projectors used for showing magic lantern slides. These can date from the 18th century onwards, and range from the large professional tri-unial lantern to the small home projector.
    Peepshows & Flickbooks
    Apparatus facilitating the viewing of still and moving pictures by individuals, such as peepshows, Kinetoscopes, Mutoscopes, Kinoras, flick-books and hand viewers.
    Magic lantern, 35mm and other forms of slides, photographic, drawn and mechanical.
    Slide Projectors
    Projectors for slides, mainly 35mm (2” x 2”) but also including 6x6cm and other formats.
    Slide Viewers
    Slide viewers, including hand viewers and stereo Viewmaster viewers.
    Equipment for showing slides synchronised to a sound track. This can range from a simple cassette player and synchroniser for a single projector presentation, to highly sophisticated computer-controlled multi-projector presentations.
    Projection & Viewing: Other
  • Sets & Costumes

    Sets, costumes, designs and props created for film and television production.

    Image credit: Roy Ashton sketch for the Hammer film The Kiss of the Vampire, 1963 (National Media Museum)

    Costume Designs
    Original designs and specifications for costume, jewellery, etc.
    Make-up, prosthetics and associated designs, sketches and photographic records.
    Scale models of sets and props created during the production process.
    Set Designs
    Designs, sketches and working drawings for sets or props.
    Sets and Properties
    Sets or parts of sets used in production, together with ancillary objects, such as furniture, and ‘practicals’ like swords, guns, etc.
    Sets & Costumes: Other
  • Sound

    Equipment and other artefacts related to sound recording and reproduction for screen media.

    Image credit: Sound Mixing Desk (BUFVC)

    Microphones, including accessories such as windshields.
    Sound desks and portable sound mixers.
    Recordings, such as library music discs used in media production, instruments, cinema organs, etc.
    Studio and portable sound recording equipment.
    Sound Effects Recordings
    Discs, tapes and computer files containing sound effects for use in screen media production.
    Stands and Mounts
    Microphone stands and mounts, including poles and booms.
    Synchronisation Equipment
    Equipment used to synchronise sound recorders with film cameras, transfer machines and projectors.
    Transfer Equipment
    Apparatus used to transfer sound from one carrier to another eg tape to tape, tape to film, etc.
    Sound: Other
  • Toys & Games

    A wide ranging category covering the history of home entertainment from stereoscopes and optical toys to film and TV ephemera and video games.

    Image credit: British Movietonews newsreel trivia game, 1980s (BUFVC)

    Optical Toys
    Devices such as Kaleidoscopes, Panorama Panoptiques, Phenakistoscopes and Praxinoscopes used for home entertainment.
    Toys and amusements associated with screen media, from cigarette cards to dolls and models, spin-off toys, games and souvenirs.
    Video Games
    Video games and consoles, and associated material, including concept art and software.
    Toys & Games: Other
  • TV, Video & Digital

    Equipment related to the production and dissemination of television and video programmes, both professional and amateur.

    Image credit: Bush TV22 television receiver, c.1952 (National Media Museum)

    Television and video cameras, and associated lenses and control equipment.
    Prototype apparatus and laboratory equipment.
    Test equipment, test cards, parts and valves, etc.
    Mobile OB Vans
    Outside broadcast vehicles including mobile studio vans and transmission vehicles.
    Professional video monitors used in the studio and office (eg surveillance).
    Domestic television receivers.
    Video recorders, professional and domestic, including Kinescopes.
    Graphics software including Paintbox, Matisse, etc.
    Apparatus connected with broadcast transmission and networking of television.
    Video Editors
    Video editing equipment.
    Video Mixers
    Video mixing consoles and associated equipment, including effects generators and graphics.
    TV, Video & Digital: Other