Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Films of the British Empire

Heart of an Empire (1935)
Colonial Film: Moving Images of the British Empire has information on more than 6,000 films showing images of life in the British colonies.  More than 150 of the films can be viewed online.  The online catalog can be searched or browsed for films by country, date, topic, or keyword.  More than 350 of the most important films in the catalog have extensive notes written by the site's academic research team.

As an example, I did a catalog search for India and got 685 results, ranging in time from a cricket practice in Australia in 1897 to a 1993 history of the State of Kotah.  Restricting the search to entries with videos gave 43 results, one of which was an 1899 panorama of the Ganges.

The film project is a joint effort by two universities and three archives.  The introduction on the site states that the aim is to "allow both colonizers and colonized to understand better the truths of Empire."

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