With the centenary anniversary of the end of the First World War approaching, Manchester Metropolitan’s North West Film Archive is inviting the public to view its ‘wealth of unique material’ to learn more about regional life during the 1914-18 conflict.

The archive‘s various silent black and white clips give a fascinating glimpse into what was happening on the Home Front while soldiers fought on the front line on continental Europe.

It includes conscripts in training, departing soldiers being waved off by their townsfolk, and the unveiling of war memorials across the North West.

Lots of footage from the era was brought from the vault and digitised four years ago in order to produce a themed DVD to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, with actress Maxine Peake narrating, which means wartime material is available to search and, in some cases, view online.

The archive’s compelling footage is freely available for the public to view in the Film Pods in Archives+ on the ground floor of Manchester Central Library.

Clips can also be made available to staff and students of Manchester Metropolitan University, as well as to museums, groups, broadcasters and filmmakers.

As the professionally recognised public home for the moving image heritage of the North West of England, the archive is the custodian of more than 50,000 films from 1890 to the present day.

Its collection comprises cinema newsreels, documentaries, advertising and promotional material,
educational and travel films, home movies, corporate videos and regional television programmes.

The mix of professional and amateur recordings have been donated, saved or gifted for posterity.


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