From the early nineteen thirties, for a period of about twenty years, the British Council was an enthusiastic commissioner and distributor of documentaries from some of the finest film makers of the time, designed to showcase Britain to the outside world. Today, these films – over 400 of them –  are looked after by the BFI in their archives, almost completely usused.

Over the next six months, TIME/IMAGE will be exploring this archive. Our aim is not only to catalogue and curate the archive, to restore and digitise as many as possible, but to make this valuable resource available to the public,

The project will contribute to the digitisation and narrativisation of the UK’s cultural heritage; the flagship of the New Deal of the Mind’s Digital Domesday Project. We hope to encourage the public to engage with these films in a variety of ways with a view of opening up social debate geared towards how we perceive the present, and hopefully the future, through the interpretation of historical narratives.

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