Film and Sound Archives

Cinefilms, video and sound recordings are mostly made of quite fragile polymers (plastics) and, as such, have only a finite life. Some will take longer than others to decay and this usually depends upon how well they are looked after. Keeping such materials in good condition needs particularly careful handling and storage. Master material should not be used for research or display and stored separately from copies. Old, non-maintained equipment can severely damage items.

There is huge amount of film and sound that is extremely valuable for researching and writing local history. It covers many aspects of everyday life not covered by more conventional sources. Viewing and listening to film and sound almost always leads to a better understanding of events and people’s place in them, as well as revealing details not captured elsewhere.  Moreover, a film or a tape recording adds greatly to the attractiveness of any presentation, especially online. There are few subjects that they will not enliven!

A new Users’ Guide now available  is based on the huge collection of the Wessex Film & Sound Archive at the Hampshire Record Office, Winchester, which covers Hampshire and adjacent counties. It has been built up over the past 35 years and includes fascinating content on a vast range of places and subjects. The Users’ Guide also shows how material from many other collections can be accessed on the net.

This authoritative paper by David Lee, for many years head of Wessex Film and Sound Archives, is available HERE