School histories and the home front

The library’s recent launch of the School Histories book collection prompted me to think about how local film archives often have material relevant to schools and local historians. The collective site of the UK’s film archives, Moving History, provides a handy starting point, and currently features a section ‘Films from the Home Front’.

This section, and I quote, “…brings together a collection of unique moving images illustrating what life was like for ordinary people in Britain during the Second World War, as seen through amateur documentaries, newsreels, government films, and home movies.” One of the themes is a selection of ‘Children in war-time’ clips which illustrate home and school life during the second world war.

In my home region the south east, Screen Archive South East, has worked with Whitehawk Primary School in Brighton to study the period, and the children’s work, interviews with older residents who lived through the war, and a link to a silent film showing air-raid practice at Knoll School in Hove are all accessible from the project web site.

Check the Moving History site to locate your local film archive. Apologies to those of you reading this in London – you will find a gap on the map between East Anglia and the South East. For London and around, try the Moving History links to the British Film Institute and the Imperial War Museum, or check the London’s Screen Archives section of the Film London web site.

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