Yorkshire Film Archive is a registered charity (no. 1093468) and company limited by guarantee, committed to finding, preserving and providing access to the moving image heritage of Yorkshire and the North East of England. It cares for the collections housed by the North East Film Archive ( NEFA ), based in Middlesbrough, and the Yorkshire Film Archive ( YFA ), based in York.
Our collections are unique; they contain an astonishing and moving visual record of life in Yorkshire and the North East of England over the past 120 years.
Over every decade, filmmakers have captured and recorded the places we live, where we grew up, went to school, had our first jobs – the important milestones in our lives. Stretching from Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley in the south to Newcastle, Berwick and the Scottish Borders in the north, we hold over 70,000 titles revealing an extraordinary record of our times, from the changes in industry and employment, to the impact on the landscape and architecture of our towns and cities, the people, the places, the traditions, the major events, and everyday lives that together create a moving image legacy of life across the two regions over the 20th Century.
The films we hold are largely non-fiction, or ‘film as record’. Made by amateurs and professionals alike – the collections include industrial collections – shipbuilding, mining, steel, textiles, farming and fishing, the Yorkshire and Tyne Tees Television news and regional programmes, alongside the astonishing outputs of local cine clubs recording events in their communities, and home movie enthusiasts capturing their families on holidays, or at home, and in doing so also recording a fascinating social historyof life in the regions over the decades.
Our first priority is to ensure the long term preservation of the material we care for, and both archives have specialist facilities and expert staff to work with the collections.
But that is just the first step in our ambition to create the widest possible access to our collections – these films were made to be seen and enjoyed, not simply locked away in a vault. We want everyone to be able to access our collections, on screens and online, and we are already working on a major programme to digitise more of our collections so that they can be made available to a whole range of audiences and users: whether that is a screening in a local village hall, working in partnership with museum curators to use footage to enrich exhibitions, developing specialist reminiscence programmes, or supplying footage to broadcasts and events managers. Click on the Using Footage tab to find out more, or contact us if you have a specific query or request, we are always interested to hear from you.
Find out more about the organisation, and our Board of Trustees, here.
We are always keen to hear from anyone who has film, video tape or born-digital collections that have been made in, or about Yorkshire or the North East of England, whether amateur or professional. Your films can be deposited with us temporarily so we can inspect them and make good recommendations for the care of your collection. Once we’ve inspected them for content and condition, we’ll get back in touch.
If the films are of interest, we’ll discuss an Acquisition Agreement which sets out terms and conditions. This allows you to agree the terms under which we care for your films. It doesn’t automatically mean any change of ownership or copyright, but we do ask your permission to use the films as part of our ongoing charitable education and community services, once we’ve undertaken preservation work. We’ll also offer you a DVD copy of up to one hour of your footage, free of charge.
If the films aren’t relevant to our collection, we’ll either return them to you, or, with your permission, offer them to another film archive.
For further advice, contact us.
As a registered charity, YFA is governed by a Board of Trustees who bring a range of skills, experience and expertise to the organisation.
In addition to the statutory obligations of the charity, Trustees also play an active role in working with the Director and the whole of the Archive team, contributing with their own specialist knowledge to support key areas of work, from strategic partnerships and business planning through to curatorship, marketing and communications, personnel and finance.
The board is chaired by Clare Morrow, former Chair of Welcome to Yorkshire and previously Controller of News and Programmes at ITV Yorkshire.
Clare brings more than 30 years of experience to the YFA, through her career in television and as a non-executive director. She is currently a non-executive director of both Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate, and the Rugby Football League. Previously she was a non-executive director of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, as well as Network Manager of the Broadcasting and Creative Industries Disability Network.
Clare first encountered the Yorkshire Film Archive during her 15 years at ITV Yorkshire, where she was responsible for Calendar News and a regional programme slate which included entertainment, current affairs and sport. She was Executive Producer of the popular ‘The Way We Were’ series, which was based on the stories behind some of the Yorkshire Film Archive’s most treasured amateur film collections. It was a simple formula, with themes and scenes familiar to everyone – holidays in the Dales, weddings, working lives, sporting moments, that were recounted by the people who made, or featured in, the films themselves – and it worked. Scheduled to run as a three programme pilot, ‘The Way We Were’ series ran for more than four years, with over sixty programmes produced.
Clare says: ‘I’ve been a supporter of the Archive now for many years, and am delighted to take on the role of Chair. I firmly believe these collections should be recognised as one of the most important visual records of life in our region over the past 130 years. These are not feature films, they are films made by professionals and amateurs alike who wanted to document the people, places, events, cultures, traditions and communities across the region, and they now reveal an extraordinary record of our times’.
Dale Grayson is Director of Archive and Information Policy at ITV, an integrated producer-broadcaster and the largest commercial television network in the UK. Based in Leeds, he leads on all aspects of ITV’s Archive, Rights and Metadata Operations and Information Security policies.
Having worked briefly for the BBC in London, Dale went on to study Information and Library Management in Newcastle upon Tyne before joining ITV in 1992 where he has worked in news libraries, commercial clip sales and rights management. Through various mergers and acquisitions of the ITV companies, he has overseen the consolidation of archive, rights and metadata expertise into Leeds, which is now the home of the ITV Archive.
Dale also sits on the board of ISAN-UK – an internationally recognised numbering identification system for audio-visual works.
Dale joined the Board in 2013 and serves on the YFA Strategy Sub-Committee.
Michael Harvey is a curator and writer specialising on the history of photography, film and animation. He was formerly Curator of Cinematography at the National Media Museum where he was responsible for developing the cinematography collection and curating the Animation Gallery. Michael originated and curated several exhibitions including Magic Behind the Screen: 100 years of British Cinema (1996) Bond, James Bond (2002), Myths and Visions: the Art of Ray Harryhausen (2006), Live by the Lens, Die by the Lens: Film Stars and Photographers (2008) and Drawings that Move: the Art of Joanna Quinn (2009).
In 2012, Michael’s work on researching and realising the first colour moving images, dating from 1901-2, from the original negatives by Edward Raymond Turner held in the National Media Museum collection attracted worldwide media attention. He is currently engaged on a co-authored publishing project about the Kinetoscope.
Michael has been a Trustee since 1994, was Chair of Trustees from 2000-2006 and serves on the Personnel Sub-Committee.
Sally Joynson has been Chief Executive of Screen Yorkshire since 2006. Following a change of government and subsequent closure of the screen agency network in 2011, Sally led the restructuring of Screen Yorkshire, refocusing the company’s activities to securing £7.5m from ERDF to launch the ground breaking Yorkshire Content Fund and doubling that investment in 2014 to expand and continue YCF’s programme.
Sally is responsible for setting the company’s overall strategy and vision and implementing long and short term plans. Since its launch in February 2012 YSF has invested in more than 35 film & TV, games and digital projects, with a slate that includes:
Dad’s Army, The Hunter’s Prayer, Swallows and Amazons, The Railway Children, Dark Angel, Black Work, The Great Train Robbery, Peaky Blinders, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Testament Of Youth, A Royal Night Out, Get Santa, Hank Zipzer, X + Y, I Want That Car, Death Comes to Pemberley, Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets, Catch Me Daddy, Bill and ’71.
Sally joined the Board in 2014 and serves on the Strategy Sub-Committee.
Mike Pye was a member of the Sheffield City Council for 27 years, retiring in 2010, and during his time on the Council was the lead member on issues relating to Culture. He also served as a Deputy Chair of Planning and Economic Development taking a particular responsibility for the development of public arts and the cultural industries quarter in Sheffield.
He was Chairman of the Regional Museums, Libraries and Archives Yorkshire Regional Council for ten years and has served on the Museums Association National Council for a considerable number of years including being its Institutional Vice-President twice. He is still an individual member of the MA and of ICOM (the International Council of Museums).
Mike is an Independent Trustee of a number of museums in Sheffield as well as the People’s History Museum in Manchester. He is also a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Commerce and served as the Deputy Chairman of the Yorkshire Region.
Mike has been a long-standing YFA Board member, and serves on the Finance and the Personnel Sub-Committees.
Don spent the early years of his working life in London working for the Department of Trade on Civil Aviation regulation issues before moving on to Overseas Trade in Eastern Europe, North Africa and China. He also worked on Consumer Protection, Complaints about the Health Service and Industrial Privatisation.
He ran European Development Fund programmes in Lancashire and Cumbria before heading back to Leeds to run the Single Regeneration Budget in Yorkshire. He was in at the birth of Yorkshire Forward and spent ten years there as Director of Economic Inclusion and later as Director of Strategy. Don ran the major events programme with highlights such as The Bollywood Awards and the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and also led the work to create what became Welcome to Yorkshire.
He spent two years with Welcome to Yorkshire before leaving to form his own business. You Must Be Wondering Ltd.
He now splits his time between You Must Be Wondering and non-executive work for Yorkshire and North East Film Archives, Yorkshire Lawn Tennis Association and Heaton Tennis and Squash Club.
Don joined the Board in 2012 and serves on the Strategy Sub-Committee.
Terry Suthers has followed a distinguished career in museums and the built heritage. He recently retired as Director and Chief Executive of the Harewood House Trust. Under his stewardship from 1992-2007 Harewood won several awards for tourism, the arts and education. Previously he was Assistant Director and Head of Public Services at the Science Museum, London and before that Director of the Yorkshire Museum and Gardens in York.
Trained initially as a conservator and archaeologist in 1980, Terry won a Churchill Fellowship to study conservation techniques in Italy and North Africa. From 1996 to 2001 he was a member of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Expert Panel for Museums, Libraries and Archives and until 2005 Vice Chair of Yorkshire Museums Council.
He is currently Chair of the York Archaeological Trust and serves as a Trustee of the York Museum Trust, Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds and is a member of York Minster’s Fabric Advisory Committee, a Fellow of the Museums Association and in January 2005 was made a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of West Yorkshire.
Terry is a long-standing member of the Board and serves on the Fundraising Sub-Committee.
After a brief career in the Civil Service, Fiona went to Birmingham University as a mature student to study Theology. After graduating in 1987, Fiona moved to Yorkshire where she joined Yorkshire Television as a researcher and progressed rapidly to become a freelance programme producer and director, specialising in religious programming – in particular current affairs reported through the prism of faith, religion and spirituality. Fiona produced programmes across the media landscape including for the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV network.
In 1994 Fiona joined Trinity & All Saints College (now Leeds Trinity University) as a part-time Lecturer in Media Production and Theology, whilst continuing to make programmes. In 1999 she was appointed Dean of Faculty at Trinity & All Saints. In 2011, Fiona was appointed Deputy Dean of Arts at York St John University and in January 2013 was made Dean of Faculty. Fiona is now Executive Dean Quality.
Graeme is Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sunderland responsible for external engagement (Connections and Place). He is chair of the Sunderland City of Culture 2021 bid steering group and also chairs The Cultural Spring – part of Arts Council England’s innovative Creative People and Places project. He is chair of the Royal Television Society’s Education Committee as well as the North East and Border Annual TV and Digital Awards. Graeme is a trustee at the Customs House in South Shields and is a member of the North East Cultural Partnership, where he chairs the International Group.
Born in South Shields, Graeme started his career as a Journalist working for newspapers and the BBC where he was a producer for Radio 4. He spent twenty years as an editor and executive director of ITV. He was managing director of ITV Tyne Tees until 2009 when he moved to take up the role of Dean of Arts Design and Media at the University of Sunderland.
Until December 2016 Penny was Chief Executive of Northern Rock Foundation, an independent charity which aimed to tackle disadvantage and improve quality of life in the North East and Cumbria.
Previously, Penny was Chief Executive of Museums Libraries & Archives North East for three years, promoting innovation and best practice in museums, libraries and archives in the North East. Prior to this she was the organisation’s Deputy Chief Executive.
Penny’s experiences stretches across both Yorkshire and the North East of England – her early career began in Hull City Museums before she moved to the North East and a role at Wansbeck District Council. In 1995 she was appointed Deputy Director of North East Museums.
Penny joined the Board in 2013 and serves on the Fundraising Sub-Committee.
Our collections reveal astonishing and moving visual records of life in Yorkshire and the North East of England over the past 120 years, stretching from Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley in the south to Newcastle, Berwick and the Scottish Borders in the north.
Made by amateurs and professionals alike, the collections include industrial collections, featuring shipbuilding, mining, steel, textiles, farming and fishing. We also hold Yorkshire and Tyne Tees Television news and regional programmes, alongside the astonishing outputs of local cine clubs recording events in their communities, and home movie enthusiasts capturing their families on holidays, at home, at work and at play: a fascinating social history of life in the regions over the decades.
Our team are here to work with you on requests for using footage, bringing their experience and extensive knowledge of the collections to respond to all enquiries, from public programmes through to working with large commercial clients.
We have facilities on site for viewing films by appointment, or can supply material on a range of formats, depending on the nature of the request.
Start by searching our online catalogue, and contact us if you need further information – we are here to help.
Our access team have a wealth of experience working with broadcasters, production companies, events managers and other media professionals. Increasingly, we are aware that researchers and producers are looking for archive footage that shows a different perspective – previously unseen, or less well known footage, which can bring a new edge to programmes.
We encourage initial searches through our catalogue, but will follow up with more detailed discussions – often we hold relevant footage that is not yet available online.
We understand the need to work to deadlines, and will respond quickly and efficiently to your enquiries.
Our ongoing public programme of community film shows and events are tailor-made to appeal to the interests of the communities and groups we work with. Local footage features in all of our screenings, which range from smaller shows in local village halls or for specific interest groups, to larger events in town halls, cinemas, or exhibition spaces.
Community film shows are ever popular, and we advise booking well in advance. Our charges begin at £75.00 (ex VAT) plus travel for standard community film shows.
We are also keen to work in partnership with organisations on a range of programmes to increase and enhance sustained opportunities for people to see and enjoy their local film heritage collections. Please do contact us if you have an idea or a project.
In addition to the above, we also provide more specialist programmes of screenings to reach out to audiences who might otherwise have little access to seeing our footage. More information on our award-winning work with older people, reminiscence groups, healthcare professionals and agencies supporting people living with dementia can be found on our Memory Bank pages.
We have vast experience of working with partners in the non-commercial sector; our footage has been used in festivals, as part of major outdoor artists’ projections, and in museums and galleries around the country.
Whether you’re looking for footage to use in an exhibition, installation, at a festival, or for any other non-commercial purpose, we can help. The films available online are just a taster of our diverse collection, do contact us to discuss your programme in more details.
Copies of films can be provided on DVD, or in various encoded file formats, for research, screenings, classroom use and educational workshops.
Get in touch to find out how we can help you.
Glossary of film terms
How to understand and interpret archive film
Education terms and conditions