British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

The Restoration of the UPITN Newsfilm Collection

The copyright to the UPIN/UPITN archive is held exclusively by the Associated Press and managed through its stock footage licensing division, AP Archive. Although the films themselves have been well preserved, the numerous pieces of text catalogue that accompanied them were scattered across various locations in the UK and US.

The text catalogue is essential as it identifies what footage is held in each film can and without it, the archive has been virtually inaccessible since the day the films were first produced. Twenty-thousand film cans containing 3,500 hours of international news footage have been lying dormant for decades deep underground in the Central London bunker. AP Archive assembled a team of archival researchers to create a coherent online text database. The films themselves are being cleaned and restored by Éclair Laboratoires of Paris, and then transferred onto high definition videotape for use by professional producers.

The date in the date field is taken from the can title and is not necessarily the date when the story was shot. The can title date is the date when the film was processed – i.e. received in London. In the majority of cases the story was received in London on the same day it was shot. In some instances information can be found on the original cameraman’s dopesheet with the actual date of the shoot.

By Zuzanza Zabkova