I hope you’ll all be interested to hear that a new version of the Scottish Screen Archive (SSA) website has gone live today. Until now we have continued to use the existing SSA site (which was part of the Scottish Screen website), but staff in both SSA and Digital Library divisions have been working very hard since the merger last year to bring the SSA catalogue and digitised collections in-house, and present them to users as part of the NLS digital library.
Additionally, SSA has just completed a three year HLF-funded project to transfer 420 hours of original film to high quality digital videotape, making 2800 titles (over 1 million feet of film) from the master collection accessible for the first time. Details of the content of the newly accessible material are published on the new website, with 1000 video clips available online to complement and illustrate the catalogue text.
The HLF award also enabled the SSA to establish a digital restoration facility, bringing cutting-edge digital techniques to the restoration of moving images. The first film completed with this new technology is ‘The Wedding of the Fourth Marquess of Bute’ (1905) which we believe to be one of the earliest known family wedding films in the UK. This work has put NLS at the forefront of professional practice in the UK. The premiere of the restoration will be at a screening in the Marble Hall at Mountstuart, the family home on Bute in the spring.
Thanks are due to staff in the Digital Library and Scottish Screen Archive divisions, and to the lottery project staff at the SSA, for the work they’ve done to produce what I’m sure you’ll agree is a fabulous resource.
Publicity about this will be on the main NLS site in due course. For now, you can access the site direct at http://ssa.nls.uk/. A list of ‘featured clips’ is available at http://ssa.nls.uk/browse.cfm?sid=03.05. Clips run in a YouTube style interface; just click to play, and resize to full screen if you wish. A catalogue search will provide access to records relating to the entire collection, and the search can be limited to produce only records that have accompanying online clips.
Update: The new archive has been getting a good bit of press coverage, which is great.
Filed under: tech watch