British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

IMAGES OF EMPIRE


Tailor at work in Simla. From a film of Simla, India, taken in 1931 by Major General William Clavering Hartgill CB, OBE, MC. (photo courtesy of British Empire and Commonwealth Museum)
Description
The Moving Image Collection consists of 16mm, 9.5mm, and standard and super 8mm cinefilm and currently contains over 1000 titles, comprising over 450 hours of cinefilm footage dating from the early 1920s onwards. The films reflect the life of indigenous people, colonial settlers and government officials within the British Empire and Commonwealth.
Amateur filmmakers in Africa and the Indian sub-continent shot the majority of the films held. They include footage of industrial and commercial activities, agriculture and forestry, momentous political events and conflicts, sporting and ceremonial occasions, people at work and leisure, holiday and travel footage, and family footage. In addition the collection contains government produced information and travel films from different countries, commercial documentary and news film, and television material.
Website
http://www.empiremuseum.co.uk/archive.htm
Keywords
History; Africa; Oral History; Amateur films; British Empire; British Raj; Central Africa; Central African Film Unit; Colonial affairs; East Africa; Commonwealth; India; Independence, India; Independence movements, colonial affairs; Nigeria; Northern Nigerian Information Service; Raj, The; West Africa
Access
By arrangement only.
Access for outsiders
DVD, miniDV, BETA, VHS viewing copies available to outside researchers on site
Facilities
16mm and 35mm Steenbecks, Low Band Umatic, DVD and VHS viewing facilities available on premises.
Charges
Charges for research and viewing. Price list available on request.
Copyright
Copyright held to large part of collection. Information on request.

Moving Image, Audio and Related Documentation Holdings

Books
approx 35,000 books, incl 25,000 books from the Commonwealth Institute Collection of Commonwealth Literature. Also a large collection of Acts, Command Papers & other Parliamentary Papers.
Datasets
Related material on the Museum’s Accessions and Oral History Catalogues.
Equipment
A small collection of cameras and projection equipment
Journals
Large collections of pamphlets and journals, particularly relating to mid twentieth century Africa.
Manuscripts
approx 20,000 paper archives including diaries, letters, other personal papers and company accounts.
Masters
Over 450 hours of 16mm, 9.5mm, standard & super 8mm film of 16mm and 8mm film.
Music
Commonwealth Institute collection of music from the British Commonwealth. Also a large collection of military & brass band music.
Sound
Over 1,000 oral history audiocassettes.
Still Images
approx 500,000 photographic images. Also approx one and a half million b&w images from the Ordnance Survey Air Photo Collection.
Video/Film
550 VHS viewing cassettes, some DVDs and mini DVs. We are currently researching and digitising a broad selection of films from this unique collection. We expect to launch a fully functional website offering high resolution downloads in 2006. In the meantime, research requests should be directed to the contact details listed above.

Catalogues

Related website
www.imagesofempire.com
www.empiremuseum.co.uk

Additional Information

Conservation policy
To restore and preserve film master material and to create submasters and viewing copies.

Main Contact

Name
Mrs. Anna Motrescu
Job title
Film Research Consultant
Department
Images of Empire
Telephone
0117 925 4980, Ext 217 or 0117 929 3851
Fax
0117 9254983
Email
anna.motrescu@empiremuseum.co.uk
Address
BRITISH EMPIRE AND COMMONWEALTH MUSEUM
Clock Tower Yard
Temple Meads
Bristol
BS1 6QH

Alternate Contact

Name
Mr. Adam Teasdale
Job title
Images of Empire Project Manager
Telephone
0117 929 3851
Fax
0117 929 3852
Email
info@imagesofempire.com

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