Western Film Archive

Western Film ArchiveWestern Film Archive was set up as a not-for–profit initiative in 1988 to collect, preserve and make available audio-visual material from North Wiltshire and the West of England. Soon afterwards Sir David Puttnam agreed to become the Archive's honorary patron.

A major component of the Archive at the outset was the Swindon Viewpoint collection, a large body of community television recordings from the 1970's and 1980's that is unparalleled anywhere else in Britain for its local focus and depiction of normal everyday life and culture, and its open access principles. In view of this, the Archive decided to use Swindon Viewpoint as its distribution and public access mechanism, and a new web television service under the Viewpoint rubric was inaugurated in 2009: www.swindonviewpoint.com

Sony Z5Here you can find not only the actual Swindon Viewpoint material (or the fraction that has so far been digitised), but also other archive material that has so far been collected and digitised (as resources have to date allowed). The earliest of these is a local film from 1913, over a hundred years old, but there are also films representing the twenties, thirties and indeed every other decade. So far over 1000 films have been digitised and are available online. They are an invaluable resource to Schools and History groups and for medical Reminiscence Therapy.

Western Film ArchiveThe archive depends on public support in a time of austerity, and donations of time, money and materials; - so progress in collecting and digitising assets has inevitably been slower than we would prefer. Furthermore another major aim of Western Film Archive is to document significant cultural events in our area for posterity and the Archive's future public history stock, - thus stretching our slender resources still further. Nonetheless we have to date managed such initiatives as intensive coverage of 'The Big Arts Day' held in 2010 at Lydiard Park in Wiltshire for example as well as numerous others (the results are viewable on the website), and have managed to equip for such purposes with High Definition video.

If you are able to contribute to or support our work, either with time, money or
materials, please let us know via the contact form.