The Oscar winning movie director Martin Scorsese is among a group of leading figures backing a campaign to help the public discover and enjoy more than 100 years of Scottish history on film.
The National Library of Scotland's Moving Image Archive will transfer to a new home within a transformed Kelvin Hall in Glasgow this autumn. The Library has launched a fundraising campaign to secure the final £250,000 to create state-of-the-art facilities for viewing and studying this unique national collection.
Mr Scorsese is joined by Scots-born Hollywood film producer Iain Smith, actors Brian Cox, Alan Cumming and Bill Paterson, crime writer Ian Rankin and broadcaster Kirsty Wark in supporting the campaign.
'Moving image archives hold our common memory,' said Mr Scorsese, whose commitment to historic film saw him set up the World Cinema Foundation. 'For that reason, we need to care for them, and treasure them. That is our obligation. We owe it to future generations.'
He added: 'Films shouldn't be locked away and neglected in a vault somewhere. They need to be protected and preserved, but they also need to be seen, studied, and enjoyed. I enthusiastically support the efforts to develop the Scottish moving image archive, and I urge you all to support this vitally important initiative.'
That view is shared by other prominent individuals from the world of entertainment who agreed to contribute to a short campaign film which can be viewed on the Library's website.
In the film, the actors Alan Cumming and Brian Cox say the archive has a crucial role to play in connecting people in Scotland with their past.
The journalist and television presenter Kirsty Wark adds: 'The Moving Image Archive is culturally hugely important, historically immediate, but most importantly for me, it's an emotional connection with the past and I think we should all feel that and if the archive helps us feel that that'll be a wonderful thing.'
Scotland's Moving Image Archive is the national collection of amateur and professional films which reflect Scottish life, society, industry and culture from the 1890s to the present day. It holds over 46,000 items in total.
In the autumn it will move from its current home on an industrial estate at Hillington outside Glasgow to a purpose-built facility at the Kelvin Hall. The central location in Scotland's largest city will make it easier for the public to visit and take advantage of the new facilities for exploring the archive.
The fundraising campaign will help to create improved viewing and learning areas including videowalls to showcase films, a public drop-in area, a curated content area, research space, viewing booths and manuscript consultation space. There will also be a small cinema to provide a high quality screening experience. Visitors to the Kelvin Hall will also be able to access digital content from across the Library's 24 million items and explore a permanent exhibition space.
'The move to the Kelvin Hall will provide the perfect showcase for our Moving Image Archive and for our wider digital collections,' said National Librarian Dr John Scally. 'It is important to have such high profile endorsements for the developments we are planning. We will be working hard to raise the funds needed to make this into a memorable destination for visitors.'
Anyone who would like to contribute to the appeal can do so by visiting the Kelvin Hall fundraising website.
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1 February 2016