North West Film Archive visit

The Art History and Curating students visited the North West Film Archive (based within the Central Library) last Wednesday to gain an insight into its collection, and guidance on how to access it.

Geoff Senior, the collections assistant at the NWFA introduced us to the archive, and provided information on how to search and view films which are readily available to view in one of the film pods based in the central library.

Geoff showed us three films which all related to the theme of colour, as the art history and curating group are currently thinking of their own exhibitions that deal with the topic of colour.

These films were:

The City on the Mersey, (1929) 35mm, silent
Tinted film of views around Liverpool including one of its parks, the Walker Art Gallery and St George’s Hall and the Pier Head. Concludes with people disembarking a ferry, and views of the ferries crossing the river.

Homes of Britain, (c1930s)
A Co-op publicity film for Prescription Tea and Lutona Co-op Cocoa, which shows a variety of British homes from city flats to Edinburgh Castle, and the Bronte’s Haworth Parsonage. It ends with tea drinking in the garden of a suburban house “anywhere”.

THIS IS COLOUR, (1942) 16mm
After a section on how colours are perceived, a description of refraction and examples of the substances and objects that are artificially coloured, the film describes the process by which dyes are manufactured. Hebridean farmers are seen using plants to make dyes, and the scientists at ICI’s laboratories are shown developing dyes for fabrics, wallpaper and other products. The final section of the film stresses the importance of colour to people, and ends with a psychedelic display.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 15.12.59The City on the Mersey, (1929)

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 15.13.12THIS IS COLOUR, (1942)

The North West Film Archive is a part of Library Services Special Collections at Manchester Metropolitan University. The Archive cares for over 40,000 items from the pioneer days of film in the mid 1890s to video production of the present day. The work of both the professional and the amateur is collected. You can visit the website here.


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