Magazine article Screen International

BFI Opens New [Pounds]12m Archive Facility as Part of Screen Heritage UK

Magazine article Screen International

BFI Opens New [Pounds]12m Archive Facility as Part of Screen Heritage UK

Article excerpt

The BFI has opened a new Master Film Store at Gaydon in Warwickshire as part of its £22.8m Screen Heritage UK (SHUK) programme, funded by the DCMS.

The Master Film Store, which is in addition to the BFI's existing archive site in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, will house up to 450,000 cans of film ranging from the early works of Mitchell and Kenyon to The King's Speech.

The £12m state of the art, environmentally sustainable facility has been built on a disused military installation and will use green technologies to keep the films at a temperature of minus 5 degrees and 35% relative humidity, the optimum conditions for preserving films which could deteriorate if not kept in the right storage conditions.

The fire resistant site consists of six large acetate film stores and 30 smaller nitrate stores in a building of just under 3,000 square metres. The building process, which began last October, has been captured on film by Patrick Keiller.

As part of the Screen Hertiage UK programme, which launches on September 5 at the BFI Southbank, the BFI and the nine regional film archives across the UK have teamed up to launch a new online cataloguing service - Search Your Film Archives - aimed at enabling the UK public to find out for the first time about where they can access films and about their local film heritage. The online database will have around 330,000 records.

SHUK programme director and the BFI's creative director Heather Stewart revealed that the BFI's originally aim was to make the films available to be viewed online, but funding restrictions has meant that only a small number of the films will currently be available to watch. …

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