EIT Links Up To Film Archive

August 14, 2012

Chris Verburg views the 1955 Hastings Blossom Festival.

Hawke’s Bay has a new resource in the huge selection of Film Archive material now accessible through the Eastern Institute of Technology.

The New Zealand Film Archive is making 15,000 titles – including more than 1000 high quality movies – available through the Film Archive MediaNet server hosted by EIT.

That means staff, students and the general public are able to view diverse films, ranging in age from 1894 to 2010, on campus.
EIT’s Assistant Head of School Arts and Design Chris Verburg says the material includes personal films, home movies, early silent films, music videos, TV commercials, short films, documentaries and experimental movies.

“Researchers and others are bound to find the local component interesting. There’s early footage from the Hastings Blossom Festival, for example, and in the 1915 Mardi Gras held in Napier you can see Bluff Hill in the background.”

Chris has long been fascinated by the material held by the New Zealand Film Archive and was a frequent visitor on his trips to Wellington. Responsible for protecting and projecting the country’s film and television history, the Film Archive stores 150,000 films in its collection.

“I knew material was available at other places – mostly regional museums, libraries and art galleries – and we were quite keen to get it here too.”

Film Archive project developer Diane McAllen says the aim was to identify elements of the collection that would be useful to the various schools at EIT, and she anticipated the resource would grow to meet demand for specific films.

The EIT-accessible material is catalogued for straightforward searching.

Members of the public can view films by arranging a time with staff at EIT’s Tim Twist library. Viewing will be in one of the library’s study rooms. For films not held on the EIT server, it may be possible to arrange the loan of a DVD through the Film Archive for up to week.

“So if you want to research your local or New Zealand history, fashion, social norms, films, hairstyles, motor cars, architecture, art, agriculture, viticulture or anything else in moving image,” Chris says, “come have a look at what the archive can do for you.”