About eafa.org.uk


If you know what you are looking for, simply click the Search tab and type in the Search box;  the website will search for any words you enter – typically a place or a year or a type of person; e.g. Norwich; or 1953; or shop, factory, school.

Any films in the website containing those words will appear below in a list of results. The number of films in the website that match your search word will be indicated, and the films will be listed.

You can order these results by the ‘best match’ to your search word; or organise the results by oldest date first or newest date first; or by the film’s title (A to Z).

You can search for a combination of terms by adding “  ”  before and after a string of words, eg “Cheshunt grammar school”. 

Remember that this website is only searching the words attached to the 1,200 films that have been indexed in this website – not the whole catalogue of the East Anglian Film Archive.


If you would rather browse the website, there are five separate ways in which you can do this from the Browse tab – by

  • Dates – a simple slider allowing you to select a single year or a range, such as a decade
  • Places – using the Google map you can see how many films relate to a place
  • Genres – a list of 40 familiar categories such as Animation or News
  • People – an A to Z index of people featured in the films, by occupation: from Architects to Writers
  • Subjects – an A to Z index of subjects in the films: from Accidents to Warfare

You can also combine two or more of these browse terms – the ones you’ve selected will appear in a box below.

Please note that this system works best if you use one or two browse features (say places and dates). More complex combinations tend to return few or no results.

All five of the browse features will return you a list of relevant films.

As you drag the map, or zoom in, the list of films featured next to the map will change according to the territory featured on the map.

You can also type in  a place name below the map to see if there’s a film at or near that place.

Bear in mind that these films are primarily from the six counties of the East of England, but as you move the map around you’ll get a few films from elsewhere – try dragging the map to South Wales and you’ll find a couple of films made in Abergavenny.

The map is UK only, so don’t expect it to work for the handful of films in the website that are from other countries.

To watch a film simply click on the ‘thumbnail’ image or on the title of the film.

This will take you to the individual page for that film and you can watch the film in the size that it appears, or full screen.

There is also an option to watch it in high or low quality versions according to the speed of the connection to your computer.

What the icons mean

You will notice some symbols (‘icons’) on the right of the results page and the catalogue page after the film’s title. These mean:

running time icon running time in minutes and seconds (at the film’s intended speed)
colour icon colour (note that some colour will be faded)
black and white icon black and white (note that this can vary from very grey to very high  contrast, depending on the original film)
sound icon sound (some early or amateur sound tracks may sound indistinct)
silent icon silent (note that there were no practical sound film systems before 1930 so do not expect to find any sound films before that date).

 Please note that, due to the vagaries of archive film, some films may have sections in both colour and black and white; and some sound films may have some silent elements; typically you’ll find this with some television news items.


This is a special section of the website containing 18 groups of films by theme – such as Wartime or Regional Television.  As the name implies, these are films that have been curated to create a coherent representation of a particular collection, or film maker, or subject.

This section is intended to offer a quick insight into the extraordinary diversity of films in the Archive, as represented in this website.


The Archive holds a valuable collection of books, periodicals and papers relating to films and filmmakers in the Archive. This section enables you to see what’s available to researchers in the John and Joy Chittock Research Room at the Archive.

This Room was opened by the late John Chittock OBE, founding editor of Screen Digest and media columnist for the Financial Times for 24 years, on 23 August 2011.

Contact the Archive for details of how you can use this research resource.