Behind the scenes

Delving into the Wessex Film and Sound Archive

Jul 1 2016

There’s no denying it, Wessex Film and Sound Archive is a treasure trove of history.

Found within Hampshire Record Office in Winchester, Wessex Film and Sound Archive enables visitors of all ages to see and hear history, from late Victorian times to the present day, through moving images and sound recordings. 

The Archive contains over 36,000 film and sound recordings from Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, including footage and tapes of local TV and radio.

There are also collections of professional, amateur, documentary, research, and advertising cinefilms and newsreels relating to the region, from 1897 onwards.

We caught up with Film Archive Officer, Zoe Viney, to delve deeper into the archive and hear about exciting events and projects coming up.

She explained: 

There are so many gems in the archive it is hard to know where to start! The films within our collection tell many stories; of the people who lived in, worked in and visited the Wessex region. Amateur filmmaking was an expensive pastime and what people chose to film was a carefully considered decision; very different to today when most can make movies on their smartphones!

We’re really excited to be showcasing our film ‘Scenes from Village Life’ across the county this summer. It is a vibrant and quirky film, offering a unique insight into rural life in the 1940s. This film was chosen out of many to represent our collection as part of the Britain on Film project. You can watch this as well as other films from the collection on the BFI Player 

 Archive image of village life

You can view any of the films free of charge in the Hampshire Record Office search room on Sussex Street in Winchester. There is no need to make an appointment. 

Opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm, and also the first and third Saturday every month from 9am to 4pm.

Did you know?

 Records Office Cinema