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Film Archive Receives £412,000 to Catalogue ITV Anglia Collection

1 July 2006

The East Anglian Film Archive and the School of Film and Television Studies at the University of East Anglia have been awarded a Resource Enhancement grant worth £412,910 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to catalogue the Archive’s important collection of ITV Anglia programmes and news film dating from 1959.

Richard Taylor, Director of the Archive, said: “This is excellent news for this Archive and for all the regional film archives in England. It proves that the Higher Education sector places significant value on the rich research resource represented by important historic television collections such as this. In addition to producing a comprehensive online catalogue of our Anglia collection we will be recording interviews with current and former Anglia staff, adding their personal memories of the production of many of the programmes, enhancing knowledge of changing industry practices over half a century; the cataloguers will also be able to draw on valuable contextual information, such as our collection of the Eastern edition of the TV Times dating from 1959”.

The bid was developed by the Archive in partnership with UEA’s School of Film and Television Studies. Professor Andrew Higson, Head of the School, said: “We have long believed that the Film Archive is a major asset for the University as a research resource. Among the outcomes of this work – in addition to the catalogue being available online - will be a full appraisal of the collection, a report on conservation requirements and a research symposium; this will gather together some of the leading historians of British television to consider the research potential of the collection, and the contribution of Anglia to the history of regional television in England. This award is further evidence of the growing educational value of regional film and television collections”.

ITV Anglia Managing Director Neil Thompson said: “We are delighted and relieved that the fascinating history of commercial television in the region, a literal mirror on East of England society, is not only being expertly preserved at the Archive but will be made more accessible to the people of the region, and beyond, with this comprehensive cataloguing project. This is the meeting point where digital technology, enabled by the Archive, genuinely democratises our matchless social film vault”.

Screen East Chief Executive Laurie Hayward said: "The East Anglian Film Archive is an important element within our creative industries development plans for the region. The Archive is a vital resource for future film and television production and distribution as well as in understanding the region’s film heritage. We look forward to working with the Archive to bring all kinds of hidden treasures, such as Screen East’s back catalogues of short films made with ITV Anglia and other partners, to a wider audience across the region and the UK."

• For further information: contact Annie Ogden, UEA Press Office, on 01603 592764 or email a.ogden@uea.ac.uk

Notes to editors

1. The East Anglian Film Archive was founded by David Cleveland and Malcolm Freegard in 1976. It contains over 90,000 film and video items, including at least 20,000 items from ITV Anglia. It receives funding from UEA, which has owned it since 1984, and from Screen East; it generates half of its income from the sale of footage and technical services. It is housed at the £7m Archive Centre at County Hall, Norwich, also the home of the Norfolk Record Office.

2. UEA’s five star rated School of Film and Television Studies has an international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching. It offers the UK’s only MA in Film Archiving, taught in part by EAFA colleagues. The course was the first in the world when it began in 1990 and its graduates work all over the world, including Hollywood.

3. The Arts and Humanities Research Council was established in April 2005. It has an annual budget of more than £75 million. The Council evolved from the Arts and Humanities Research Board, which was founded in 1998. It has a range of UK-wide programmes supporting the highest quality research and postgraduate training in the arts and humanities.

4. Screen East is the Region’s moving image development agency, based in Norwich and Leavesden. Screen East is working closely with the Film Archive and national partners including the UK Film Council and British Film Institute to advocate adequate public investment in moving image heritage.