The Yorkshire Film Archive is a registered charity (no. 1093468) which finds, preserves and provides public access to moving image made in or about the Yorkshire region. YFA also manages the collections held by the North East Film Archive (NEFA), as part of its charitable remit.
In July 2012, the two archives merged and now come under the Yorkshire Film Archive banner and charity. However, we know that we are working across two regions with immensely strong identities; hence both archives retain their regional titles. This is also reflected strongly in the collections we hold, and we continue to celebrate this in all our work.
Together, our growing collections currently contain over 50,000 titles – 17,000 held by YFA, and 33,000 held by NEFA – ranging from films made by the early film pioneers of the late 1890s, to recent footage of changing landscapes and life across both regions.
Our collections are unique; they contain an astonishing and moving visual record of life in Yorkshire and the North East of England over the past 120 years.
Over every decade, filmmakers have captured and recorded the places we live, where we grew up, went to school, had our first jobs – the important milestones in our lives. Stretching from Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley in the south to Newcastle, Berwick and the Scottish Borders in the north, we hold over 50,000 titles revealing an extraordinary record of our times, from the changes in industry and employment, to the impact on the landscape and architecture of our towns and cities, the people, the places, the traditions, the major events, and everyday lives that together create a moving image legacy of life across the two regions over the 20th Century.
The films we hold are largely non-fiction, or ‘film as record’. Made by amateurs and professionals alike – the collections include industrial collections – shipbuilding, mining, steel, textiles, farming and fishing, the Yorkshire and Tyne Tees Television news and regional programmes, alongside the astonishing outputs of local cine clubs recording events in their communities, and home movie enthusiasts capturing their families on holidays, or at home, and in doing so also recording a fascinating social historyof life in the regions over the decades.
Our first priority is to ensure the long term preservation of the material we care for, and both archives have specialist facilities and expert staff to work with the collections.
But that is just the first step in our ambition to create the widest possible access to our collections – these films were made to be seen and enjoyed, not simply locked away in a vault. We want everyone to be able to access our collections, on screens and online, and we are already working on a major programme to digitise more of our collections so that they can be made available to a whole range of audiences and users: whether that is a screening in a local village hall, working in partnership with museum curators to use footage to enrich exhibitions, developing specialist reminiscence programmes, or supplying footage to broadcasts and events managers. Click on the Using Footage tab to find out more, or contact us if you have a specific query or request, we are always interested to hear from you.
Depositing collections – help to build the moving image heritage of Yorkshire and the North East of England
We are always keen to hear from anyone who has film, video tape or born-digital collections that have been made in, or about Yorkshire or the North East of England, whether amateur or professional. Your films can be deposited with us temporarily so we can inspect them and make good recommendations for the care of your collection. Once we’ve inspected them for content and condition, we’ll get back in touch.
If the films are of interest, we’ll discuss an Acquisition Agreement which sets out terms and conditions. This allows you to agree the terms under which we care for your films. It doesn’t automatically mean any change of ownership or copyright, but we do ask your permission to use the films as part of our ongoing charitable education and community services, once we’ve undertaken preservation work. We’ll also offer you a DVD copy of up to one hour of your footage, free of charge.
If the films aren’t relevant to our collection, we’ll either return them to you, or, with your permission, offer them to another film archive.