‘The Historian and the Home Movie’ film – Blog 2


In MACE’s blog this week we take a look at the film ‘The Historian and the Home Movie’ produced for us by Electric Egg.

The 25 minute film has been made available for free as a DVD to subscribers of this month’s History Today magazine in. The DVD can also be made available to academics, researchers, teachers and other educational and research organisations. See the end of this post for details.

This 5 part blog will focus on extracts from the film which highlights some of the material found in MACE’s Heritage Lottery Funded film search project, Full Circle, and explores how home movies and amateur films can be used by academics as important historical ‘documents’.

The Historian and the Home Movie – Clip 2
James Patterson reflects on the historical importance of home movies & archives

In this clip, MACE’s Director James Patterson reflects on why home movies should be taken more seriously as a record and why the work that MACE does is important.

James says, ‘So often home movies are seen as something which is quirky and nostalgic and it doesn’t seem to me that it ever is taken seriously and goes beyond that level, and this is a medium… which actually is a serious research resource.’

He continues, ‘I think the other thing which is very important to say about them is that they are incredibly engaging. There’s no other kind of medium which shows the world in the way that home movies do. They open windows and shine lights in a very particular kind of way which is very hard to see in any other kind of medium. And I think that they really help to fill out the historical picture in a unique way’.

HaHM 1

There’s no other kind of medium which shows the world in the way that home movies do. They open windows and shine lights in a very particular kind of way… – James Patterson – MACE Director

James goes onto to talk about the importance of archives in this context: ‘I think it’s hugely important that we recognise the archival value – the historical value – of this material and add it to the resources that we can make available to historians in future. If we value being able to understand where we have come from and what makes us what we are, and what helps us to understand how we should develop in future, then archives are absolutely fundamental, and in terms of our understanding of the last 120 years then the moving image is as fundamental as any other medium. That’s why I think what we do is important’.

HaHM 2

If we value being able to understand where we have come from and what makes us what we are, and what helps us to understand how we should develop in future, then archives are absolutely fundamental. – James Patterson – MACE Director

The interview with James was filmed at MACE’s offices at the University of Lincoln and shots of our Flashtransfer equipment in action can be seen together with extracts of material that has been found and digitised as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle project.

Obtaining a copy of The Historian and the Home Movie for Research

If you are an academic, teacher or researcher and would like a free copy of the DVD, please email info@macearchive.org or telephone 01522 837750. As we only have a small number of DVDs available, please advise us of your profession and the organisation you represent when you contact us.

DVDs are free, although a contribution towards postage would be appreciated. P&P is usually £1.50.

MACE is a registered charity and registered with Just Giving. A donation towards our on-going work would be appreciated. Visit http://www.justgiving.com/mediaarchiveceltd/donate to see our Just Giving page and make a donation.

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