British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access


John Waters laying an eel in a fen channel; from the film AN ENGLISH FEN.(photo courtesy of the East Anglian Film Archive)
The Archive was established in 1976 to locate and preserve films and videos showing life and work in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, and to provide a service of access and presentation where copyright allows. The collection spans the years from 1896 to the present day and is continuing to grow rapidly. It aims to reflect all aspects of the region its people, society, economy, geography, history and the work of its film and video makers, both amateur and professional. The Archive is a non-profit making organisation dedicated to the preservation of its collections. Its work is funded by earned income and by grants and donations. EAFA is also preserving unique and growing collections of
regional television output and it now houses the original film collection of the Hertfordshire Record Office. UEA is home to the unique MA Course in Film Archiving. The Archive is a part of the University of East Anglia and receives a grant from Screeneast.
Artefact description
Anglia Television, BBC Eastern Region and the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers.
Boats; Railways; Crafts; East Anglia; Farming; Advertising films; Natural history; Fishing industries; Transport; Docks & dockyards; Ports; Amateur films; Cambridgeshire; Educational films; Ipswich; Suffolk; Agriculture; Essex; Cambridge; Carnivals; Celebrations; Colmans Mustard Ltd; Educationa television; Felixstowe; Film Equipment; Fison’s Fertilisers Ltd; Hertfordshire; Rural life; Southwold
Access available. Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00 or by arrangement. Staff are available to assist. Access for disabled. The Archive was originally established so that films of the region would be available for study and research. Individuals and groups may visit the archive by appointment to view films.

The Archive has produced for sale a series of video compilations of films from the collection: subjects include farming, windmills, rural crafts and industries, railways, US airmen during World War II, the Norfolk Broads, the Fens, and videos on individual towns including Clacton, Lowestoft, Norwich, Southend, Southwood, Thetford and Yarmouth. There are over 40 of these compilation tapes. A selection of DVDs are also available from
Viewing on premises. Viewing off premises. Viewing copies are 16mm film and VHS video.
A price list is available upon request. No charges for non-broadcast research, students, etc. or for supply of information on the collection. There is a viewing and transmission fee for broadcast productions.
All copyright observed. Copyright advice available. There are preservation restrictions on some material.

Moving Image, Audio and Related Documentation Holdings

Some books relating to film archiving, amateur film-making, etc.
Own databases.
Significant amateur and professional moving image equipment collection.
Some documents related to main moving image collection.
Still Images
Mostly stills from films in the collection.
Video: The video collection comprises c.4,000 hours (5,000 items) including both original and duplicated material.Advertising, amateur, documentary, news and current affairs, television programmes.
Video components: VHS Video, S-VHS Video, 8mm Video, hi-8, hi-band U-Matic, lo-band U-Matic, Beta/Beta-SP, 1-inch Video, 2-inch Video, MII.
Film: The film collection comprises c.22,000 titles (c.15,000,000 feet; c.30,000 cans) including both original and duplicated material. Most of the films are non-fiction, both amateur and professionally made, including documentaries, local and national newsreels, advertising and promotional films, educational and training films, cinema shorts and home movies. Home movies are a particular strength, with amateur film, most of it unique, accounting for about 50% of the collection. The Archive is actively acquiring contemporary material. There are approximately 2,500 titles in the main catalogued collection, which aims to cover all aspects of East Anglian life, and contains a wide and varied range of material about work, leisure, housing, health, industry, education and domestic and social life in towns and rural areas.
Besides the main collection, there is a sub-collection of educational and miscellaneous films. They are not of East Anglian content but are of related subject interest. An example is a small collection of World War II documentary films dealing with agriculture.
The nightly news magazine programme Look East 1976-1985, together with feature and opt-out programmes, are stored on behalf of the BBC regional station in Norwich. Requests relating to this material should be made to the Film Librarian, BBC East, The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1BH. Advertising, amateur, documentary, news and current affairs, science and education, television programmes.
Film components: 8mm, Super 8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm, Super 16, 35mm. Original material: positive film, negative film, fine grain print, effects mix, final mix.

Artefact and Related Documentation Holdings

Puppets, models and armatures
Projectors; Projection lenses
Catalogues; Diaries, unpublished memoirs etc; Scripts and treatments; Personal papers; Photographs; Other production documentation
Cine cameras; Editing equipment and viewers; Film laboratory equipment
Projection & Viewing
Magic lanterns; Slide projectors
Sound mixers and desks; Sound synchronisation equipment
TV, Video & Digital
Television monitors; Software; Video editing equipment


Computerised database
Available. (In-house only).
Online catalogue

Additional Information

A printed catalogue in four volumes describes some 1.300 films with subject and place indexes. These catalogues have recently been revised and entered into computerised database. EAFA catalogue is on University of East Anglia Library database, which is accessible on the Internet.
Cataloguing and database creation is a current four year HEFCE-funded project and entries are continually being added. Work in progress on indexing the entries. Not all films are catalogued yet so researchers are encouraged to contact EAFA to discuss their projects.
Other information
For each title there is a file holding background information on the history of the film, the film-maker, subject, etc. where available, and a technical sheet recording the physical condition and duplicating history of the film.
Conservation policy
EAFA has an experienced film conservator to monitor the collection and carry out repair and cleaning of film and preparation for copying. The Archive is committed to preserving original material. Copies are made for preservation and access. No nitrate is stored, as nitrate films are copied immediately onto safety stock and the originals passed to the NFTVA. The Archive specialises in the handling and preservation of small gauges (8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm) and is equipped to print all of these gauges to 16mm film. The Archive offers telecine, optical step printing and separate magnetic track transfer facilities.
Artefact notes
We are currently reviewing our cataloguing methods

Main Contact

Jane Alvey
Job title
Head of Collections
01603 592664
01603 761885
The Archive Centre
Martineau Lane

Alternate Contact

Louise Lawrence - Acquisitions Officer

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