Colonial Film database

Subtitled ‘Moving images of the British Empire’, this Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project catalogued films from the British colonial period. The project brought together Birkbeck College and University College London with three film archives, the British Film Institute, the Imperial War Museum, and the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum.

The website holds detailed information on over 6000 films showing life in the British colonies, with 150 films available for viewing online. The collection can be searched or browsed by country, date, topic, or keyword.

The ‘Empire and Education’ topic features data on fifteen films, with ten online. As one analytical comment says, the films often have a “…distinctly British voice…” reflecting the colonial era and the relationship between Britain and the countries of the Empire.

Secondary school lesson plans suggesting ways of using the material are due in the new year.

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