If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll already know that ‘Dreaming Spools’ is a media project run by Oxford Podcasts to unearth and exhibit film footage of the city through time.
We are now proud to announce the product of our summer’s work: ‘Oxford On Film: From Attic To Archive’, a series of podcasts for the Oxford University Podcasting channel (http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/series/oxford-film-attic-archive), which is free for public viewing, and episodes of which will be uploaded regularly.
The project was borne out of the pre-existing University film archive, which had already catalogued a number of video clips and short films. However, the archive’s collection of historical films was limited, and the Educational Media Team wanted to expand these video records in order to rediscover moments in Oxford’s history that were caught on camera.
Beginning with a media campaign to track down old film footage, we worked with the Oxford Times, BBC Radio Oxford, Jack FM Oxfordshire, and Oxford Today, the University of Oxford Alumni magazine and website- all excellent sources to provoke public interest in our research. These lines of publicity unearthed a number of exciting finds: home videos filmed on 16mm colour cine film from the 1940s and 50s; the products of student-film making with the University Film Society and Experimental Film Group, dating back to the late 1940s and 50s; and even a selection of monochrome and colour 16mm cine film reels filmed by an American Flight Surgeon based at Mount Farm Airbase in Oxfordshire in the 1940s. The latter documents the United States Airforce Unit at the airfield and exploring the local area, capturing the town centre and its population as they adapted to the context of World War Two.
Check out the series of podcasts, and keep an eye out for new episodes as they are uploaded.