About the Shetland Moving Image Project

The Project Group was set up to establish a proper film archive in Shetland, that will collect, clean, repair, preserve and digitise old film in a variety of formats including cine. Once the film is digitised, you can watch it over and over again, and it can be stored on DVD, online, on a memory stick, or any number of digital mediums, with no loss of quality.

The project also aims to set up a database of films which will be accessible in museums and community facilities around Shetland, as well as be available on the internet.

And once the delicate old films have been digitised, the original copies can be preserved and held safe in a specilised storage facility.

Brian Smith, Archivist at the Shetland Museum and Archives, who is involved in the project said: “We are sure there is a lot of old film related to Shetland out there and this study should help us assess just how much. It would be great to establish a film archive in the future, both to bring this type of footage together and preserve it for future generations and to enhance our extensive Shetland archive collections.”

A huge amount of material has already been identified, and there is a significant quantity held outwith Shetland and overseas. The Shetland Moving Image Archive will work to collect in that film and hold copies locally.

Shetland Moving Image Project history

In 2008 the Shetland Amenity Trust secured a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund Awards for All programme to part-fund a feasibility study into establishing a Moving Image Archive in Shetland.

More recently, significant work has been carried out to build on that feasibility study. A seperate group, the Shetland Moving Image Archive Group was formed, constituted and recently became a registered charity (group members' details can be found on the contact page). That group has worked to create a detaileld project plan to establish a Moving Image Archive, which will collect, repair, clean, preserve and digitise old film in a range of formats with the purpose of saving those images and making that footage available to watch once more.

The donor of the material will also receive a high quality digital copy for their use. It is intended that the film can be deposited and accessed for a variety of purposes. Those who wish to supply material could choose whether it would be accessible by the public and how it was used, such as for:

  • Preservation and storage, because of the film’s historic or cultural value
  • Research and academic purposes
  • Educational/interpretive resource, e.g. themed footage could be produced on, for example, the fishing, or a place, or teachers and local heritage groups could download footage of a particular activity
  • Marketing and advertising Shetland, its businesses and products
  • As an attraction in its own right, in much the same way as the Museum's photo collection is used, For family history purposes and for descendants of emigrant Shetlanders to peer into their own family past
  • As an artistic resource and inspiration, for anyone looking for information on past activities and life in Shetland.

The group was also successful in applying to the Scottish Arts Council's AmbITion programme and subsequently are to receive expert technical advise and guidance from the Centre for Enabling Technologies.