Search on for old footage

Shetland Amenity Trust has received a grant of £8,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme towards a feasibility study into establishing a moving image archive in the isles.

The project will not be collecting any materials at this stage, instead carrying out research into the quantities and nature of old cine and video film in Shetland with a view to collecting and preserving it in the future.

Even the most delicate and damaged of film can be repaired, preserved and copied. Therefore, the project is not just interested in hearing about films in good condition but that which the owners may think is beyond repair.

If the project finds there is enough film to warrant an archive, and one is established, materials donated will be preserved in a climate controlled environment, while a high quality digital master will be available for the public to access. The donor of the material will also receive a high quality digital copy for their use.

It is intended that, if a Shetland moving image archive is established, the film can be deposited and accessed for a variety of purposes.

Those who wish to supply material could choose how it was accessed by the public, such as:

? Preservation and storage, because of the film’s historic or cultural value;
? Research and academic purposes;
? As an educational/interpretive resource, e.g. themed footage could be produced on, for example, the fishing, or a place, or teachers and local heritage groups could download footage of a particular activity;
? Marketing and advertising Shetland, its businesses and products;
? As an attraction in its own right, in much the same way as the museum’s photo collection is used;
? For family history purposes and for descendants of emigrant Shetlanders to peer into their own family past;
? An artistic resource and inspiration, for anyone looking for information on past activities and life in Shetland.

The project is being co-ordinated by Joanne Jamieson and Karen Emslie. Although they are not yet collecting film they would love to know if you have any old cine or video film related to Shetland.

Their advice is: “If you do have old films then do not use a projector to view it as this can irreparably damage delicate film. Store it in a cool, clean, dry place and most importantly – tell us about it.”

Archivist Brian Smith, who is also involved in the project, said: “We are sure there is a lot of old film related to Shetland out there and this study should help us assess just how much. It would be great to establish a film archive in the future, both to bring this type of footage together and preserve it for future generations and to enhance our extensive Shetland archive collections.”

Joanne and Karen can be contacted by e-mail: or by calling Shetland Amenity Trust on (01595) 694688.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.