More of Scotland on film to view online

Group of protesters standing at table near beach
A scene from 'On site Torness 1979'.

Fans of films about Scotland can enjoy dozens of hours of footage that has been newly digitised by the National Library of Scotland.

Over 120 films are available for the first time through the online catalogue of the Scottish Screen Archive.

Lasting from under a minute to almost an hour, the films range from silent black and white non-fiction film to a colourful set of three 'film poems', one with piano accompaniment.

Industry, culture, sport and education are covered in this selection, most of which has been digitised due to customer demand. As well as amateur footage, there are productions made by the Films of Scotland Committee (1938, 1954-1982), set up to promote all aspects of Scottish life nationally and internationally.

Some of the highlights are:

  • 'Saltcoats quater centenary celebrations' (1928) - an amateur film-maker's three-minute snapshot of races, crowds and the gala procession
  • 'The Solway counties' (1955-1958) - a survey of Wigtown, Kirkcudbright and Dumfries, highlighting farm, forestry and factory work
  • 'Songs of Scotland' (1963) - traditional Scottish songs sung against a backdrop of Scottish scenes by Hamish Henderson, Dolina MacLellan, Duncan Robertson and others.
  • 'Made in Kirkcaldy' (1964) - the manufacturing of Nairn's linoleum
  • 'Spey Valley - Ski Valley' (1970) - filmed during the Cairngorm Winter Festival, with glimpses of pop and jazz musicians Manfred Mann, Kenny Ball and Chris Barber, and DJ Tony Blackburn
  • 'No easy way: Allan Wells, One man's Olympics' (1979-1980) - a documentary about the gold-medal-winning sprinter's preparations for Moscow 1980
  • 'On site Torness 1979' - a blend of footage, speeches, interviews and song from the peaceful demonstrations against the building of the nuclear power station
  • 'Garden pieces'(1998) - Margaret Tait's three colourful 'film poems' on the theme of the garden.

Curators and conservationists at the Scottish Screen Archive produce new full length films several times a year for viewing online.

17 June 2011

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