About the Centre
Research projects
Contact us


Summer 04



Spring is the season of postgraduate training for the Centre this year, with a total of four events planned. First comes a day at Birkbeck on 25 February devoted to the relatively new issue of ‘practice-based research’. Next, the scheme launched last year in association with Nottingham’s British Silent Film Festival, to bring postgraduates for a special ‘collegium’, continues in April. This year the annual All-Ireland Postgraduate Film Seminar meets in Dublin on 21 April, with the theme of regional and national film and television. And on 19-20 May Lincoln offers a residential postgraduate training event on film and broadcasting policy.
Planning for the new Film and Media Research Centre at Birkbeck continues, with a timetable that begins in August with demolition work and will see the new building designed by award-winning Surface Architects open in Spring 2006. As well as housing the AHRB Centre’s co-ordinating office, this will provide greatly expanded facilities for screenings in a 70-seat state of the art auditorium, equipped with 35mm, 16mm and digital projection, together with a large seminar room and some exciting interior spaces (think Caligari in Warhol colours!).
This year the AHRB becomes a research council, with inevitable changes to follow. The Centre has not been offered Phase II core funding (only two applicants have been successful), but discussions are under way to see how the Centre will continue. A majority of Centre partners have indicated they wish to continue working together, to build on the Centre’s achievements and pursue its work. A number of major grant applications are pending. IC



…No, not in today’s Premiership, however much supporter John Garrett (above) might wish, as he looks for his grandfather in the early 1900s crowd. At this time, Sheffield United had a vast following, like many football clubs, and some of the Mitchell and Kenyon hoard of early films show Sheffield and other historic northern clubs in action.
Behind the recent BBC Television series, The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon, which has brought the films to a gratifyingly wide audience, lies a pioneering AHRB-funded research project linking the British Film Institute’s National Film and Television Archive to a network of historians. Co-ordinated by Vanessa Toulmin of the National Fairground Archive at Sheffield University, and Patrick Russell of the National Film and Television Archive, with Simon Popple of the University of Teeside, the first fruits of this research are published in a BFI book, which scrutinises the evidence supplied by the films from a wide range of specialist standpoints – from early cinema historians and regional experts to historians of football and ceremonial, and including the current AHRB Fellow in Creative Arts, Patrick Keiller.
The Peter Worden Collection of M&K is likely to remain a unique find – the Tutankhamen’s Treasure of early cinema, as it has been dubbed. But many less spectacular collections are housed in regional (and national) audiovisual archives, still awaiting the research that can bring them back to life. With the welcome news that the DCMS Museums, Libraries and Archives Council is looking closely at the funding of regional film archives, it is to be hoped that M&K points the way for more and higher-profile research into the audiovisual heritage. There’s more gold in them there cans and cartons…


back to Newsletter Contents
Previous page
Next page

Last modified 20 May, 2005 ; web@bftv.ac.uk