British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access


Earl Haig at the foundation-stone laying ceremony for Gosport War Memorial Hospital, July 1921 (still from cine-film courtesy of the Wessex Film and Sound Archive)
The Wessex Film and Sound Archive was established in February 1988 by the Hampshire Archives Trust in association with the Hampshire County Council, who now administer the archive. Film, video and sound recordings of interest to Hampshire and the surrounding counties are collected for preservation. The material dates from 1890 to the present. Particular subject strengths are the military: army, navy, royal marines, parachute regiment, army air corps. royal observer corps; merchant shipping, including shipbuilding and technical material; amateur films; British Powerboat Company (Scott-Paine films); the seaside; local radio, including BBC Radio Solent, Radio Victory, Ocean Sound and Radio 210; oral history; towns like Southampton, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Winchester; Bournemouth orchestras; off-air recordings of classical music performances on the radio in the 1960s, made by Constantin Silvestri; and original footage concerning the raising of the ship Mary Rose. WFSA also holds master and viewing copies of documentaries made by local broadcasting companies BBC South, Meridian, TVS and Southern Television.The Archive is a member of the Film Archive Forum.
Bournemouth; Music; Boats; Ships; Farming; Oral History; Hampshire; Southampton; Berkshire; Radio 210 (radio station); Military forces; Amateur films; Seaside resorts; Aviation; Carnivals; Isle of Wight; Portsmouth; Shipbuilding industries; BBC Radio Solent; BBC South; British Powerboat Company; Marine engineering; Merchant shipping; Meridian (television station); Ocean Sound (radio station); Radio Victory; Southern Television; TVS (television station); Wessex; Winchester
Access available. Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00 and First and third Saturday per month, 9am to 4pm in the Hampshire Record Office search room. Staff are available to assist. Access for disabled. Researchers are welcome. Any television or production requests must be cleared with copyright owners before items are released for use in film or video programmes.
Viewing on premises. Viewing off premises. Duplicating. Video copies of cleared items for reference purposes (viewing on and off premises) only. Master material may not be viewed, but viewing copies are available on DVD/VHS video cassettes or 16mm prints. A number of films from the collection can be found on the BFI Player (Britain on Film) and on our YouTube channel (WessexFilmArchive).
Charges for research for broadcast productions. Charges for facilities and handling. A price list is available upon request. Facility fees are charged for any commercial use of the Archive.
Very little copyright is owned by Wessex Film and Sound Archive, which largely provides custody for other’s material. Copyright advice available.

Moving Image, Audio and Related Documentation Holdings

Film: 10,500 cans. Nearly all non-fiction material. Amateur films are well represented, along with documentaries and technical subjects. Film collections which reflect the region include maritime and shipping and technology, civic occasions, military and aviation subjects. The Portsea Island Mutual Co-operative Society collection is now held by the archive, as are the film holdings of Southampton City Museums and Record Office, and Portsmouth City Records Office. The rate of expansion varies, but appears to be about 500 films per annum. 50% colour film, 50% black and white film, 1% nitrate film.
Film components: 8mm, Super 8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm, 35mm, positive film, negative film, fine grain print, effects mix, final mix.
Video: 9,500 reels/cassettes/discs.' (Please note that we hold a further 12,000 sound recordings). Video recordings are also collected, and some filming is done around the region by the archive itself.
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, Phillips 1500 and 1700, Sony 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch, Betamax, V2000, DV, Digital Betacam.

Artefact and Related Documentation Holdings

Cinema exhibition designs book, programmes and equipment catalogues.; Rewinders; Cinemas; Projectors; Projection lenses; Sound reproduction equipment
Catalogues; Diaries, unpublished memoirs etc; Equipment manuals; Personal papers; Photographs; Promotional literature
Cine cameras; Editing equipment and viewers; Camera mounts and accessories
Projection & Viewing
Data projectors; Magic lanterns; Slides; Slide projectors; Slide viewers; Computer control and slide/tape synchronisation devices
Microphones; Sound mixers and desks; Music; Sound recorders; Sound effects recordings; Microphone stands and mounts (including booms); Sound transfer and striping equipment
TV, Video & Digital
Television/video cameras; Television monitors; Video recording equipment; Software; Video editing equipment


Computerised database
CALM 2000
Printed catalogue
Short guide to collections available on request.

Additional Information

Full catalogue only available on computer database, CALM 2000 system (Windows); uses ISAD (G) cataloguing rules.
Other information
Background material about holdings are kept on file. Receipts are held for deposited items, along with details about ownership and copyright.
Conservation policy
Archive policy is to make VHS video viewing copies, plus viewing prints on 16mm. Nitrate films are given priority. To repair and store items to the best standards possible, in a purpose-built repository. Nitrate films stored temporarily in separate place, pending duplication to safety stock.
Artefact notes

Main Contact

Heather Needham
Job title
Film and Sound Archivist
01962 847 742
Hampshire Record Office
Sussex Street
SO23 8TH

Alternate Contact

01962 846 154

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