Cinema Memory and the Digital Archive: 1930s Britain and Beyond

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University

Abstract

CINEMA MEMORY AND THE DIGITAL ARCHIVE is about expanding our knowledge and understanding of how audiences relate to and remember the experience of cinemagoing. How is 'going to the pictures' remembered? How may these remembered experiences be expressed? In speech? In writing? Through a range of creative practices? What can such expressions tell us about how our memories of films figure in our daily lives? Engaging in 21st-century developments in digital communication and research, this project will expand academic and public knowledge of these elements of the cinema experience.

The project will produce a freely available website composed of a range of historical materials related to cinemagoing in Britain. What specific materials will be available on the website? The project's starting point is the materials gathered in the course of 'Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain' (CCINTB), a large-scale inquiry, conducted in the 1990s, into cinema audiences and filmgoing in the 1930s. Deposited in Special Collections at Lancaster University Library, the CCINTB collection includes:
a) Over 250 hours of in-depth interviews with 1930s cinemagoers living in four areas of mainland Britain
b) Some 200 questionnaires completed by 1930s cinemagoers from across the UK
c) Over 200 letters, essays and written memoirs received from interviewees and questionnaire respondents
d) Over 150 items of cinemagoing memorabilia and artefacts from the 1930s (diaries, postcard collections, scrapbooks, cinema programmes, posters, magazines), mostly donated by informants.
This valuable resource is currently hidden from public view. The production of a dedicated website and the digitisation of the entire collection will mean that all of the CCINTB materials will be made available in digital form to members of the general public as well as academic researchers.

In the period since the CCINTB collection was assembled, research on historical film reception has expanded considerably, and is now an important subfield within film studies. It is also a topic that attracts considerable public interest. The time is ripe to bring this material on 1930s cinemagoing and cinema memory into conversation with more recent inquiries, by drawing on and developing digital tools now available to scholars in the humanities and social sciences.

Alongside the physical management and digital updating, archiving and cataloguing of the collection, programmes of new research and public-facing activities will be conducted. These will include a new theatre production inspired by the CCINTB collection and a range of film screening events featuring readings and recordings of extracts from informants' interviews.

The project's research phase will aim to introduce substantial new findings on the cinema experience and cinema memory, while also sharing these insights with the research community via international workshops, conferences, and publications. Public engagement events are scheduled throughout the duration of the project so that many of the project's findings can be shared with the general public. A programme of archive-based activities, including residencies for creative artists, will be launched early on in the project, with a view not only to publicising it but also with an eye to the possibility that visitors' work may feed, in perhaps unanticipated ways, into the project's research design and/or the construction of its web interface.

Planned Impact

Through knowledge-exchange activities and partnerships, this project will benefit:
1. Digital audiences and engagement: Making the CCINTB collection available through the project website ensures a coherent dataset will be made available to a wider range of potential users, including academics, but also local historians, film fans and the general public. The online presentation of the collection will also facilitate its connection with and benefit to such initiatives as the British Library's 'Save Our Sounds' project, and its equivalent in Scotland, 'Scotland's Sounds'. The project website's inclusion of a suite of digital resources such as audio guides, interactive geographic maps, collection tours (presented by writers, artists and academics undertaking residencies at the archive in Lancaster), will encourage the collection's use in wide variety of contexts and by numerous and diverse beneficiaries.
2. Independent and commercial cinemas, theatres and their audiences: Project screening events held at the Glasgow Film Theatre, Cinema City in Norwich, the Phoenix in London and Vue cinemas in Manchester and Bolton, as well as performances of Imitating the Dog's new theatre production inspired by the CCINTB collection at Lancaster, will provide unique opportunities for audiences to connect with their own local cinema histories.
3. Museums and archives: In addition to improving access and raising the profile of the CCINTB collection, other organisations such as Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life (Coatbridge, near Glasgow), the Cinema Museum (London), the Bill Douglas Museum (Exeter), the Mass-Observation Archive (Bolton branch) and the Scottish Screen Archive (Glasgow) will benefit from the project's research into their collections. The project's intentions to match interview extracts with a range of cinema memorabilia and objects held in these collections, and to create audio files for public exhibitions (both online and offline), will benefit future users of the collections, creating greater access and awareness of the collections. In addition to related exhibitions on the CMDA website, Summerlee Museum will also make use of material on its own website and as part of a touring cinema exhibition (developed in collaboration with the project).
4. Local communities and history groups: Project events will connect with, and be of benefit to, local history groups. The screening events, writing workshops, and cinema audio walking tour apps (for Manchester and Glasgow) will establish valuable new historical resources which can be productively connected to the work of local history groups, such as the Halliwell Local Historical Society in Bolton, Burnage Memory Bank Project in Manchester, the Headstone Manor Museum and the Stanmore and Harrow Historical Society in Harrow (site of the London fieldwork), as well as established cinema history projects such as Norfolk at the Pictures http://norfolkatthepictures.org.uk, and the Scottish Cinemas and Theatres Project http://www.scottishcinemas.org.uk/glasgow/
5. Education and outreach: Writing workshops held to coincide with each of the screening events will be of benefit to local writers and writing groups. The workshops' focus on the historical interviews with respondents from their local area will provide an example of how local cultural heritage can function as a catalyst for imaginative expression. A special issue of LUNE (a creative writing journal based at Lancaster University) focusing on memories of cinema-going, will provide workshop participants with an opportunity to submit work produced during the workshops, and will help to foster wider interest in the project. A 'Cinema Memories Loans Box' containing cinema objects from Summerlee Museum's collection will be created for use in the workshops, and serve as a lasting resource which can be loaned to local community groups who wish to hold their own workshops.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title 'Thomas McGoran', a short film by Marissa Keating 
Description Marissa Keating was commissioned by the Cinema Memory project to make a short film in response to materials in the archive. She contacted one of the original research project's original respondents, Thomas McGoran, and made a short film profiling his life and artistic activities. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2022 
Impact The film was shown at the HoMER conference in Rome, July 2022, and at the Cinema Memory event at the Glasgow Film Theatre on 7 October, 2022. There have been no immediate impacts of these screenings. 
URL https://marissakeating.co.uk/Thomas-McGoran
 
Title A video essay, 'Cinematic Organisms', by Catherine Grant 
Description 'Cinematic Orgamisms', a video essay by Catherine Grant, was commissioned by the Cinema Memory project. The video essay features reflections on the role of the cinema organ, especially those inspired by the Cinema Memory project, that often accompanied screenings in the 1920s and 1930s 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2022 
Impact The video essay was shown at CMDA conference at Lancaster in April 2022, and at the HoMER conference in Rome in July 2022. There are no immediate impacts of the video essay as yet. 
 
Title Cinema Days, by Diane Schofield (LUNE journal special issue) 
Description Short story inspired by the Cinema Memory Archive. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2023 
Impact No immediate impact as of March 2023. 
URL https://lunejournal.org/715-2/
 
Title Clippies, by Catherine Spooner (LUNE journal special issue) 
Description Clippies is a prose poem by Catherine Spooner inspired by the Cinema Memory Archive. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2023 
Impact No immediate impact as of March 2023. 
URL https://lunejournal.org/715-2/
 
Title Come Back Señor Solar, by Erdem Rasim Avsar (LUNE journal special issue) 
Description Short story by Erdem Rasim Avsar inspired by the Cinema Memory Archive. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2023 
Impact No immediate impact as of March 2023. 
URL https://lunejournal.org/715-2/
 
Title Dictionary of Cinema Portmanteau, by Catherine Jaishankar 
Description Imaginary dictionary of terms inspired by the Cinema Memory Archive. Published in the special Dreamworks issue of LUNE journal. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2023 
Impact No impact as yet (March 2023). 
URL https://lunejournal.org/715-2/
 
Title Dreamfactory: a special issue of LUNE journal 
Description Dreamfactory is a special issue of the online creative writing journal, LUNE (lunejournal.org) which is produced by the DEpartment fo English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University. The special issue was edited by Professor Sarah Neely (University of Glasgow) and Dr Natalie Sorrell (Lancaster University). The special issue was published in January 2023 and contained ten contributions. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2023 
Impact There have been no immediate impacts as of March 2023. 
URL https://lunejournal.org/715-2/
 
Title Exhibition of drawings and paitnings by Thomas McGoran inspired by the Cinema Memory project. 
Description Exhibition at the Reid Gallery, Glasgow School of Art. Thomas McGoran, 'Glasgow, Cinema City', exhibition of drawings, curated by Sarah Neely Reid Gallery, Glasgow School of Art, 1-11 October 2023 and the Advanced Research Centre, University of Glasgow, 15 Oct - 15 Dec 2023. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2022 
Impact Thomas McGoran's drawings created a lot of media interest (for example, in the Glasgow Times; https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/23031044.incredible-drawings-old-glasgow-cinemas-artist-93-show-first-time-city/). 
 
Title Four Poems by Stephen Sunderland (LUNE journal special issue) 
Description Four poems written by Stephen Sunderland in response to materials in the Cinema Memory Archive. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2023 
Impact No immediate impact as of March 2023. 
URL https://lunejournal.org/715-2/
 
Title La Scala Sauchiehall Street, by Louise Welsh 
Description A short story written by Louise Welsh derived from materials in the Cinema Memory Archive. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2023 
Impact No immediate impacts as of March 2023. 
URL https://lunejournal.org/715-2/
 
Title Memories of an Unmade Film, by Ümit Ünal (LUNE journal special issue) 
Description A picture story (a series of drawings) by Ümit Ünal inspired by the Cinema Memory Archive. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2023 
Impact No immediate impact as of March 2023. 
URL https://lunejournal.org/715-2/
 
Title Minsk Not Dead, by Maria Gulina (contribution to LUNE journal special issue, Dreamworks) 
Description Short story and photo essay inspired by materials in the Cinema Memory Archive. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2023 
Impact No immediate impact as of March 2023. 
URL https://lunejournal.org/715-2/
 
Title Parsing Memory, by Michelle Collier (LUNE journal special issue) 
Description A short story, with intermedial imaginings, inspired by the Cinema Memory Archive. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2023 
Impact No immediate impact as of March 2023. 
URL https://lunejournal.org/715-2/
 
Title Seeing in the Dark video box installation, by 'imitating the dog' (Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal) 
Description An installation of three video viewing boxes inspired by materials from the Cinema Memory Archive, 27 April-25 June, 2022, Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2022 
Impact It is estimated that there were approximately 780 views of the cinema boxes at Brewery Arts. 
URL https://www.imitatingthedog.co.uk/project/seeing-in-the-dark/
 
Title Seeing in the Dark video box installation, by 'imitating the dog' (Dukes Theatre Lancaster) 
Description An installation of three video viewing boxes inspired by materials from the Cinema Memory Archive. Installed at the Dukes Theatre Lancaster, March 24-April 29, 2022. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2022 
Impact It is estimated that there were approximately 1,260 visitors to the boxes. 
URL https://www.imitatingthedog.co.uk/project/seeing-in-the-dark/
 
Title Seeing in the Dark video box installation, by 'imitating the dog' (Glasgow Film Theatre and Reid Gallery) 
Description An installation of three video viewing boxes inspired by materials from the Cinema Memory Archive. These are installed at the Glasgow Film Theatre and the Reid Gallery (Glasgow School of Art) between October 1-12, 2022. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2022 
Impact It is estimated there were approximately 400 visits to the viewing boxes while installed in Glasgow. 
URL https://www.imitatingthedog.co.uk/project/seeing-in-the-dark/
 
Title Seeing in the Dark video box installation, by 'imitating the dog' (Lancaster University Library Festival) 
Description An installation of three video viewing boxes inspired by materials from the Cinema Memory Archive. These were installed at Lancaster UNiversity Library as part of its Library Festival, 23-29 September 2022. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2022 
Impact It is estimated there were approximately 300 visits to the viewing boxes during the library festival. 
URL https://www.imitatingthedog.co.uk/project/seeing-in-the-dark/
 
Title Seeing in the Dark video box installation, by 'imitating the dog' (Lightpool Festival, Blackpool) 
Description An installation of three video viewing boxes inspired by materials from the Cinema Memory Archive. Placed at the Lightpool Festival, Blackpool, 18-29 October 2022. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2022 
Impact It is estimated there were approximately 800 views of the boxes in Blackpool. 
URL https://www.imitatingthedog.co.uk/project/seeing-in-the-dark/
 
Title Sticky Floors, by Laura Cascaroli (contribution to LUNE journal) 
Description Poetic contribution to LUNE journal special issue, Dreamworks, January 2023. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2023 
Impact No impact recorded as of March 2023. 
URL https://lunejournal.org/715-2/
 
Description The key objectives of the project were met, though one or two of the objectives were not realised as fully as might have been hoped.
The objectives were to:
1- construct a freely available interactive website that digitises a historically significant archive - this is available here: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/
2- bring together researchers who work on cinema archives, historical cinema audience studies and memory studies within the overall context of film studies - many events on the project contributed to bringing researchers together, though some events did not take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The event's final conference in 2022 was an especially successful event.
3- facilitate public engagement with the CCINTB collection, primarily by way of public seminars, film screenings and workshops - a large public events occurred, in Lancaster, Bolton, Glasgow and London.
4- encourage academic engagement with the CCINTB collection. By digitising the collection, a 'virtual' version of the archive, properly accessioned, catalogued and cross-referenced, will become freely available to researchers - accessioning of the catalogue was mostly completed, so the materials in the archive are now clearly organised and stored (at Lancaster University Library). Nearly all materials (and some new materials) from the collection have been digitised and placed on the project website. They are freely accessible to researchers and members of the public.
5- convene a major international conference that will provide an opportunity for sustained academic reflection on the collection. Written up chapters from the conference will then be published in an edited collection - as stated above, a major international conference took place in April 2022. An edited collection is underway, though it may be some time before its completion.
6- facilitate creative engagement with the collection by inviting artists, writers and other practitioners to spend time with the collection and respond to it in creative ways. Throughout the project, writing workshops, aimed primarily at members of the general public, are also planned. A publication of creative writing responses is also planned towards the end of the project - much progress was made on this aspect of the project, with three commissioned artists completing work (Louise Welsh, Marissa Keating, and Catherine Grant). In addition to these works, a creative writing journal was published by LUNE (lunejournal.org) with contributions from ten writers based on writing workshops held throughout the project.
7- provide the facilities, technology and inspiration for a theatre production by internationally-renowned theatre company, 'imitating the dog', based on materials in the CCINTB archive. 'imitating the dog' could not produce a stage production because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Their solution was the construction of three 'viewing boxes' which have so far been installed in various locations in the the north-west of England and Scotland (see details here: https://www.imitatingthedog.co.uk/project/seeing-in-the-dark/)
8- enhance and extend the collection's uses and operations by using up-to-date qualitative data analysis (QDA). The website is searchable, and a great deal of effort was put in to ensuring this would be the case. QDA data analysis was, however, minimal. A reason for this is that other aspects of the project - especially the detailed standardising and synchronisation of the project interviews - had to be prioritised.
9- further enhance the collection's scope by including GIS mapping of cinema journeys recorded in the CCINTB material; and 9- add to the CCINTB material by recording new 'audio tours' of cinema journeys in Glasgow and Manchester which will be placed on the project's website. The mapping of the project was restricted to constructing cinema journeys - audio tours - of two locations: Glasgow and Bolton. The results of the cinema journeys can be found here: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/index.php/outputs-outreach/
Overall, we feel the project's objectives have been met, and the quality of the website has exceeded our expectations.
Exploitation Route The website is free and open to all, so we are very keen to survey the uses that are made of the collection, especially in its digital form.
Sectors Creative Economy,Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/
 
Description The project has slowly been generating public interest and is being used, to some degree, for research purposes. Statistics show us that the website (https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/) has so far seen over 5000 visits. Many of these are by university students undertaking research or doing university courses - we know these have been featured in programmes at Lancaster University, the University of Glasgow and the University of St Andrews, and most likely at many other universities too. Media interest was to some extent focused around Thomas McGoran's drawings and paintings when they were being exhibited in Glasgow, with stories on his work appearing in the Glasgow Times and Glasgow Herald. More recently, the Lancashire Post published a double page article on the Cinema Memory Project, March 1, 2023, pp. 18-19.
First Year Of Impact 2022
Sector Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description AHTV, Barbican Centre, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Jamie Terrill, Research Associate, was awarded a small AHRC bursary to attend AHTV, hosted by the TV Foundation and the AHRC, which took place on February 5th, 2020 at the Barbican Centre, London. Here, Jamie was in the audience for a number of panels that touched upon how scholars and the TV industry can work together to create specialist factual television. Jamie also had a 'speed meeting' with Olivia Grigoriou, a Development Executive for the production company Fremantle, where the nature of 'selling' a television concept was discussed in more detail.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Bill Douglas Museum, Exeter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Over the 29th and 30th of November, four members of the CMDA team (Richard Rushton, Annette Kuhn, Sarah Neely, and Jamie Terrill) attended the University of Exeter for a research trip. On the first evening, the CMDA team hosted a seminar for staff and postgraduate students, with each member of the team presenting a key element of the project. Richard presented an overview of CMDA, with particular focus on the design of the project and the proposed outcomes. Annette discussed the history of CMDA and the twenty-five years of projects, publications and other outputs that contributed to the Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain archive. Sarah explored the range of creative outputs that will be drawn from CMDA and their value as a means of engaging with the public. Finally, Jamie presented the practical challenges of digitising the archive and also discussed his plans for applying recent developments in cinema historiography to the archive's collections. The following day, the team visited the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, where curator Phil Wickham hosted a tour of the public facing exhibitions. Following the tour, the team attended a meeting with Phil and Helen Hanson, Academic Director of the museum, to discuss their archival practises and website design.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Blog post: Annette Kuhn discusses the distinctive tastes of British cinemagoers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact CMDA Co-Investigator Annette Kuhn writes about the taste of 1930s British audiences, particularly in relation to film stars. Annette utilized data from the project alongside other sources to produce this blog.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/index.php/2021/03/01/annette-kuhn-discusses-the-disti...
 
Description Blog post: Annette Kuhn talks about a key aspect of CCINTB's research design - 23/10/2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact CMDA Co-Investigator Annette Kuhn writes about a key aspect of the research design of CMDA's forebear project, Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain. Her she explores the sociologically informed rationale for selection interview respondents.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/index.php/2020/10/23/ak-talks-about-a-key-aspect-of-c...
 
Description Blog post: CMDA Featured item 1.5.2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This featured item blog was a call for help for our social media channels. Featuring a 35mm film still that we can narrow down to belonging to a series of films, we asked our social media following if they knew which specific film it belonged to. Written by Jamie Terrill (project Research Associate).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/index.php/2020/05/01/featured-item-01-05-2020/
 
Description Blog post: CMDA Featured item 12.6.2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This featured item blog explores the letter written by one CMDA correspondent, Ray Rochford. Here we explore his letter and reflect on his memories of working-class life in Manchester. Written by Jamie Terrill (project Research Associate).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/index.php/2020/06/12/featured-item-12-06-2020/
 
Description Blog post: CMDA Featured item 15.5.2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This featured item blog explored the correspondence of participant Mary Pook, noting her taste preference in certain film stars. Written by Jamie Terrill (project Research Associate).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/index.php/2020/05/15/featured-item-15-05-2020/
 
Description Blog post: CMDA Featured item 17.7.2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This featured item blog explores the Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain timeline. This timeline is a pivotal part of our project website as it explores the history of the research and outputs that lead to the proposal of Cinema Memory and the Digital Archive. Written by Jamie Terrill (project Research Associate).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/index.php/2020/07/17/featured-item-17-07-20/
 
Description Blog post: CMDA Featured item 24.4.2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This featured item blog explored the Picturegoer Magazine Postcard Club, a scheme ran during the 1930s where readers would subscribe to receive postcards featuring film stars of the day. The blog reflects on materials held by the collection. Written by Jamie Terrill (project Research Associate).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/index.php/2020/04/24/featured-item-24-04-2020/
 
Description Blog post: CMDA Featured item 26.6.2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This featured item blog explores the life and career of actor Boris Karloff, highlighting an archival holding relating to him within the project's collection. Written by Jamie Terrill (project Research Associate).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/index.php/2020/06/26/featured-item-26-06-2020/
 
Description Blog post: CMDA Featured item 3.4.2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This featured item blog featured a postcard of Phyllis Neilson-Terry, a Hollywood actress born in London. Written by Jamie Terrill (project Research Associate).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/index.php/2020/04/03/item-of-the-week/
 
Description Blog post: Creative Writing for Fearties: Cinema Memories - 05/02/2021 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact CMDA Co-Investigator Sarah Neely writes about two public facing events the CMDA project ran in collaboration with Glasgow Women's Library. Here she reports on the stories written my attendees of the event and reflects on memories of cinemagoing held in the CMDA archive.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/index.php/2021/02/05/creative-writing-for-fearties-ci...
 
Description CMDA Conference, Lancaster University, 6-8 April, 2022 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was the flagship academic event of the project, with scholars attending from across the globe. The conference took place at Lancaster University. The entire conference was also livestreamed. There were 24 papers and presentations across three days (April 6-8, 2022).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description CMDA website (completed) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The CMDA website - the centrepiece of the project - was completed in June 2022. Of course, there is no such thing as a completed website: there will always be opportunities to add and modify a website, and this will be possible via staff working at Lancaster University. As it currently stands, however, we regard the website as being as complete as it can be (for now).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/
 
Description CMDA website (in progress) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project's website is the key piece of work being undertaken by the project. Most of the materials relate to 1930s cinemagoing in Britain. The website's address is: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/ .
As of March 2022, the resources and materials uploaded to the website include:
87 audio interviews and synchronised transcripts;
68 documents of various sorts (diaries, letters)
315 questionnaires
219 items of memorabilia, including postcards, photographs, scrapbooks, etc.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/
 
Description CMDA website: partial launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This activity was a partial launch of the CMDA website. To some extent it was a 'test' activity and we are awaiting feedback from users in order to see what changes or improvements to make with a view to a full launch of the website within the next 12 months. The preview site went live on 22 January, 2021.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/
 
Description Conference paper, Dr Jamie Terrill, 'Filmgoing or Cinemagoing? The role of the film text within rural Welsh cinema memories'. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Conference paper delivered at the annual HoMER conference (History of Moviegoing, Exhibition and Reception) on May 27th (The conference ran from 24-29 May). The paper was delivered by project Co-Investigator, Dr Jamie Terrill (Lancaster UNiversity), Research Associate on the project, and was titled, 'Filmgoing or Cinemagoing? The role of the film text within rural Welsh cinema memories'. The conference was held online and there was a substantial question and answer session held after the paper.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://homernetwork.org/
 
Description Conference paper, Dr Richard Rushton, 'Audience Research: Questions for Film Theory' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Conference paper delivered at the annual HoMER conference (History of Moviegoing, Exhibition and Reception) on May 27th (The conference ran from 24-29 May). The paper was delivered by project Principal Investigator, Dr Richard Rushton (Lancaster University), and was titled, 'Audience research: questions for film theory'. The conference was held online and there was a substantial question and answer session held after the paper.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://homernetwork.org/
 
Description Conference paper, Dr Sarah Neely, 'Cinema Memory, Sound and the Embodiment of Place', HoMER Annual Conference 2021 (online) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Conference paper delivered at the HoMER ((History of Moviegoing, Exhibition and Reception) on May 27th (The conference ran from 24-29 May). The conference was held online. The paper was delivered by Dr Sarah Neely (University of Glasgow), Co-Investigator on the project, and was titled 'Cinema Memory, Sound and the Embodiment of Place'. There was a substantial question and answer session following the paper.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://homernetwork.org/
 
Description Conference paper, Professor Annette Kuhn, 'The bridge and the passport: thoughts on the remembered cinematic experience'. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Conference paper delivered at the annual HoMER conference (History of Moviegoing, Exhibition and Reception) on May 27th (The conference ran from 24-29 May). The paper was delivered by project Co-Investigator, Professor Annette Kuhn (Queen Mary University of London), and was titled, 'The bridge and the passport: thoughts on the remembered cinematic experience'. The conference was held online and there was a substantial question and answer session held after the paper.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://homernetwork.org/
 
Description Creative Writing Workshop, Glasgow Women's Library 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A creative writing workshop hosted by Glasgow Women's Library, led by Dr Sarah Neely (CMDA) and Donna Moore (GWL), which focused on the interviews and items in the CMDA archive as sources of inspiration for a variety of writing exercises. 12 participants took part in the 15th January workshop. The workshop participants included experienced writers as well as those with little or no experience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/
 
Description Creative Writing Workshop, Lancaster University 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A creative writing workshop, run by Professor Sarah Neely (University of Glasgow), using materials from the Cinema Memory Archive. Outcomes from the workshop were then published in a special edition of the LUNE journal in January 2023 (lunejournal.org). The workshop was held on the 5th April, 2022.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Creative writing workshop, Glasgow Women's Library 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A creative writing workshop hosted by Glasgow Women's Library, led by Dr Sarah Neely (CMDA) and Donna Moore (GWL), which focused on the interviews and items in the CMDA archive as sources of inspiration for a variety of writing exercises. 14 participants took part in the 20th December workshop. The workshop participants included experienced writers as well as those with little or no experience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/
 
Description Film screening and presentation, Queen Mary University of London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A screening of 'Mädchen in Uniform' (1931) with an introductory talk by Dr Gil Toffell (Academic Research manager, Learning on Screen) held at Queen Mary, University of London 26 May, 2022.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Film screening, invited talk and question and answer session, Glasgow Film Theatre 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public film screening of 'Un Carnet de Bal' (1937) directed by Julien Duvivier, with an introduction and presentation on the Cinema Memory Archive by Professor Sarah Neely and Professor Annette Kuhn. After the film there was a question and answer session with these professors, along with one of the respondents from the original Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain study, Thomas McGoran. Mr McGoran was also holding an exhibition of drawings of 1930s Glasgow cinemas at the Glasgow School of Art to coincide with this screening event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Lancaster Digital Library launch event, 10 September 2021 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Richard Rushton (Lancaster University, project Principal Investigator) and Dr Jamie Terrill (Lancaster University, project Research Associate) provided an overview of work done on the 'Cinema Memory and the Digital Archive' project. A display of objects from the collection was also made available for attendees to view. The event was a 'hybrid' event, involving an in-person audience as well as online attendees. The presentation was part of events to mark the opening of 'Lancaster Digital Collections' at Lancaster University Library. The launch occurred on 10 September 2021.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://digitalcollections.lancaster.ac.uk/
 
Description Meeting with the Project's UK Steering Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact On January 22nd, 2020, CMDA hosted members of its UK Steering Committee at Lancaster University. This was an opportunity for all CMDA staff to present their current and upcoming contributions to the project. Useful feedback was provided by the committee, particularly in relation to the development and management of the archival website and public engagement events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Mining Memories Conference, University College, Cork, Ireland 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Both Annette Kuhn and Jamie Terrill attended the Mining Memories conference at University College Cork, Ireland on 22nd November 2019. Annette delivered a keynote, touching upon memory methodology and the role of memories within the CMDA project. Jamie's paper similarly explored cinema memory, particularly how it can be assessed and re-appraised as part of the project. The international delegation was a mixture of postgraduate students, academics and film practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Postgraduate Training Day, Goldsmiths University 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Screen Studies Group Postgraduate Training Day, Goldsmiths University, 19 October 2019. Richard Rushton gave an overarching introduction to various aspects of the Cinema Memory and the Digital Archive (CMDA) project, while Sarah Neely presented on aspects of her past research - especially on Scottish cinemagoing - insofar as they are related to planned aspects of the CMDA project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.gold.ac.uk/media-communications/research/screen-studies-group/
 
Description Presentation at Lancaster University Library Festival, 2022 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A talk given By Professor Richard Rushton and Professor Annette Kuhn on the Cinema Memory project. This was part of Lancaster University's Library Festival, and took place on 23 September, 2022.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Public film screening, Bolton Little Theatre, Bolton 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This event was held at the Bolton Little Theatre on 16th October, 2021. It featured a screening of the 1934 film, Sing as We Go!, starring Gracie Fields and John Loder. The film was directed by Basil Dean. Accompanying this feature film was also a short documentary directed by Humphrey Jennings, Spare Time (1939). Both of these films feature elements pertaining to Bolton. An introduction to the screenings was provided by Professor Annette Kuhn, as were screening notes. A number of participants were encouraged to fill in questionnaires, and these have been added to the CMDA collection. A series of displays, featuring photographs and other memorabilia from Bolton's cinemagoing past, were mounted in an adjacent space of the Theatre (the Forge Studio) with the guidance of Boltonians, Dave Burnham and Dick Perkins.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/index.php/2022/01/17/cmda-goes-to-worktown/
 
Description Public film screening, The Dukes Theatre and Cinema, Lancaster 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This event was held at The Dukes Cinema and Theatre, Lancaster, on 27 February, 2022. The film screened was The Ghost Goes West (1935), starring Robert Donat and directed by René Clair. The film was introduced by Professor Jeffrey Richards, Emeritus Professor of History at Lancaster University. Audience members were encouraged to fill in questionnaires, and these have been added to the CMDA collection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Symposium on Cinema Memory 22-23 January 2021. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact An academic symposium, held online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This online symposium invited scholars to present papers based upon our archival holdings. Held over two the days, the symposium also included a breakout session to garner feedback on the current state of the project website and its search functionality. Delegates attended from across the world, including Australia, Belgium and Sweden. On the second day we hosted our annual Steering Committee meeting, where project staff presented our work of the past year to our steering committee and members of the International Advisory Group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/cmda/
 
Description Talk at Lancaster Royal Grammar School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This talk demonstrated the social and cultural value of cinemagoing, particularly in relation to the early to mid-twentieth century, and how we as film and cinema historians can uncover and analyse relevant data through differing historiographical processes. As a case study, we reflected on the Cinema Memory and the Digital Archive research project, noting particularly how the remembered experience of the cinema as a social space is as important (if not more so) in its findings than discussion of specific films. The talk was delivered on 9 March, 2021.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Talks given at the University of Exeter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Over the 29th and 30th of November, four members of the CMDA team (Richard Rushton, Annette Kuhn, Sarah Neely, and Jamie Terrill) attended the University of Exeter for a research trip. On the first evening, the CMDA team hosted a seminar for staff and postgraduate students, with each member of the team presenting a key element of the project. Richard presented an overview of CMDA, with particular focus on the design of the project and the proposed outcomes. Annette discussed the history of CMDA and the twenty-five years of projects, publications and other outputs that contributed to the Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain archive. Sarah explored the range of creative outputs that will be drawn from CMDA and their value as a means of engaging with the public. Finally, Jamie presented the practical challenges of digitising the archive and also discussed his plans for applying recent developments in cinema historiography to the archive's collections.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Talks given at the University of Sussex 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The team delivered a research seminar, which explored the aims and outputs of the CMDA project, to staff and students of the University's School of Media, Film and Music. A number of interesting questions were asked by attendees, along with some useful suggestions that the team have taken on board as they move forward with the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Visit to The Keep, Mass Observation Archive, Brighton 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The CMDA team visited the University of Sussex on February 19th, 2020. Taking full advantage of their time, the team explored the Mass Observation archive at The Keep, with Jamie and Sarah taking the opportunity to read through a number 1930s and 40s letters written to Picturegoer Magazine. In the early afternoon, the team met members of The Keep's archival staff to discuss digitisation and cataloguing processes, This proved to be very helpful, with the staff keen to stay in touch with us and happy to help with further queries. Following a productive afternoon at The Keep, the team delivered a research seminar, which explored the aims and outputs of the CMDA project, to staff and students of the University's School of Media, Film and Music. A number of interesting questions were asked by attendees, along with some useful suggestions that the team have taken on board as they move forward with the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020