British Universities Film & Video Council

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BECTU Membership Database

The BECTU Membership Database contains data from membership forms made by British film and television workers to the trade union ACT & ACTT. Initially known as the Association of Cine-Technicians (ACT) from its inception in 1933, the union changed its name to the Association of Cinematograph, Television and allied Technicians (ACTT) in 1956. In 1991 ACTT merged with the Broadcasting and Entertainment Trades Alliances to form the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU).
A complete run of membership forms for the period between 1933 and 1989 are included here: approximately 68,000 records in total. The ACT/T was the main union for all technical grades, with everyone from directors and editors to continuity ‘girls’ and negative cutters applying for membership. This unique and comprehensive collection brings into view the many thousands of women and men who worked in the industries in the twentieth-century.

The data is accessible in two ways. A fully searchable dataset of key fields (including job title, employer, gender and time period) which links to scans of the original membership forms. These scans provide additional information including name, rate of pay and, in some cases, sponsors’ comments.

Users of this resource should note that the Data Protection Act means that they cannot search the dataset by name.

Click on the tabs below to learn more about the membership forms and how to get the most from your database searches. To discover more about the digitisation process follow the Timeline tab.

Page citation: BECTU Membership Database, Melanie Bell, Vicky Ball and Frances Galt, Women’s Work in British Film and Television, (Access date)

BECTU Membership Forms

Discover more about the information contained on the membership forms

How to use the database

Learn how to search the database effectively.

Digitisation Timeline

Discover how the collection of BECTU membership forms was digitised through this interactive timeline