BFI National Archive

BFI_NFA IVC plays Bristol Channel tape

1″ IVC player and footage from Knowle West TV, BFI National Archive 

On Tuesday, 22 July, Peter Lewis (who developed Bristol Channel and Knowle West TV) met Jeremy and Dave (Calling the Shots), Nate (Know your Bristol on the Move) and Julian (Bristol Records Office) at the British Film Institute National Archive, in Berkhamsted. They were there to meet Gosta Johansson (Archivist) and Dave Moody (Technician) to observe the delicate process of digitising the 1″ IVC video tape. Only a few IVC players remain in the UK and the videotape itself has a shelf life of around 30 years. The Knowle West TV video is over 40-years-old and is a cultural resource under threat. You can read more about electronic media preservation here.

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From L: Gosta Johansson (BFI), Julian Warren (BRO), Peter Lewis (London Metropolitan University), Dave Moody (BFI) and 1″ IVC player, BFI National Archive

Jeremy Routledge said ‘It was a really interesting day and I loved watching Dave, the technician, as he manipulated and cleaned the tape, coaxing it into life on the screen.  Felt like a real engineering craft that is often neglected in the rush to preserve celluloid.  The whole visit was permeated by this sense of a race against time.’ Independent production company and project partner, Calling the Shots, were on hand to film the process and interview the archivists about this disappearing resource and the craft expertise required to handle these fragile materials. Stay tuned for a video blog about the day!

Once the Knowle West TV footage has been digitised, it will be delivered to Bristol. We’ll then run a second workshop with Knowle West Media Centre, inviting community elders to participate in a crowdsourcing event to add metadata to the footage so that we can add it to the in-development Map Your Bristol web tool and link it to the University of Local Knowledge, a complete re-design of which is currently in development. The Knowle West TV footage is an important part of the digital heritage of the community.

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From L: Julian Warren (BRO), Nate Eisenstadt (University of Bristol), Jeremy Routledge (Calling the Shots), Dave Mackie (Calling the Shots), Gosta Johansson (BFI), BFI National Archive