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Ayrshire Archives staff recently made a fact finding trip to the Moving Image Archive at the National Library of Scotland, Kelvinhall, Glasgow. We received a tour which gave a great insight into the specialized archive’s collections of Scottish film. The variety of formats these are composed of include reels, tapes and DVDs which also reflect the changes in technology and filming over the past 100 years. The tour allowed us to learn more about preservation and requirements for storing the material. The repository uses specialist equipment for cleaning, restoring, film grading and various other processes required before the archive is catalogued and becomes accessible to the public.

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The Moving Image Archive also provides online access to records from your home as over 2,000 films are available to view via the online catalogue. The films originate from various areas of Scottish history including wartime, education, industry, theatre and many more. However the archive holds written records too which include photographs, press-cuttings, cinema programmes, papers of film societies and film production companies to name a few. An array of eye catching posters relating to cinema and film are on display throughout the building for researchers to marvel at.

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NLS exhibition on film going

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NLS exhibition on film going

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The ways in which films and other forms of archives differ in the way they are accessed, was reflected in the searchroom. Computers are available to access the film collections while the written records can be viewed in a separate viewing room. A drop-in service is offered and there are interactive screens to quickly and easily view the archive’s most popular films – the Ayrshire Archive staff particularly enjoyed this. As the Kelvinhall is a multi-purpose building containing a gym and sports facilities, many of the archive films are even available to view via an app while exercising in the gym!

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We would like to thank staff at the Moving Image Archive for providing a great tour and insight into film archives!

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