Special Collections

The Archive holds several significant and unique paper collections which can be made accessible to bona fide researchers. Key collections are listed below with basic contents summaries. The Archive hopes to open up more collections in the future and expand upon the present summaries with detailed finding aids. At present more detail can be found for some of the special collections by searching in the Library Catalogue.

For further details or to make an appointment please contact an archivist.

Please be aware that access restrictions may be in place on some or parts of these collections.

Anglia Television Production and Press Office Files (1959-1990s)

Production files and publicity material for many of the commercial television broadcaster’s drama and factual series, including Tales of the Unexpected and Survival. Each file may typically include budgets, scripts, schedules, correspondence and notes. The Press Office also maintained files for many programmes containing synopses, credits, publicity stills, reviews, correspondence and newspaper clippings.

Anglia TV

BBC Look East Scripts, Scrapbooks and Publicity Files (1980-1995)

A complete run of dialogue scripts and running orders for the regional BBC news from 1980 to 1995. These dictated the source, name and duration for each news story or insert for the evening’s broadcast. Handwritten notes and amendments are common. The Archive holds the original elements for the film and videotape story inserts from 1976 onwards. Additionally the Archive has maintained off-air recordings of Look East as broadcast since 1982.

A series of scrapbooks from 1981 to 1988 collected local newspaper articles, images and television listings directly related to Look East. The publicity files from 1983 to 1986 contain press releases and photographs for important local news features.

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John Chittock Papers (1955-2011)

The personal and business papers of John Chittock OBE, FRTS, FRPS, FBKSTS (1928-2011), founder of the industry journal Screen Digest. Originally editor of the Focal Encyclopaedia of Photography, John Chittock was media industry columnist for the Financial Times for 24 years and remained an active member of numerous industry bodies for many years.  The collection consists of Chittock’s articles and notes, newspaper clippings, photographs and transparencies, letters, audio recordings, and computer files. In addition there is a complete run of Screen Digest and a diverse range of catalogues and loose literature related to Chittock’s writings on amateur film, industrial film making and media technology.


Roger Deakin Papers (1981-2005)

The complete production papers of the late writer, broadcaster and environmentalist Roger Deakin (1943-2006). The collection includes letters, faxes, invoices, newspaper cuttings, photographs, leaflets and scripts for most of his television productions and commercials. Several of his documentary projects were completed for Anglia Television. Deakin’s personal papers are held at the UEA Library.


Institute of Amateur Cinematographers Books, Periodicals and Papers (1928-2011)

The collection charts the history of the amateur film-making movement both in Britain and internationally from the beginning to the present. Included are the original book library of the organisation; corporate papers; newsletters and ephemera; substantial runs of associated periodicals; and technical documentation for amateur filmmaking, cameras, projectors and film stocks. The Tony Rose sub-collection groups the professional papers of the long-running editor of Amateur Cine World and Movie Maker magazines, and includes all of his notes, correspondence and interviews, in addition to a large number of photographs and publicity materials directly connected to the journals.


Eastern Arts Board and Screen East Papers (1980s-2010)

Production records for short films funded by the former regional screen agency Screen East and its predecessor the Eastern Arts Board. Included are detailed correspondence, contracts, budgets, scripts and press materials for many shorts from the First Take and Short Sharp Shocks series. Other lists and documents cover many film related projects and training initiatives funded by the agencies. Additionally there are several reports from the British Film Institute, UK Film Council and the Film Policy Review Group.

 The Archive also holds video masters for most of the short films funded by Screen East since 2001.

Arthur Melbourne-Cooper & Audrey Wadowska Papers (1890s-2011)

Family and business effects from the estate of Arthur Melbourne-Cooper and his daughter Audrey Wadowska.

Melbourne-Cooper was a British film pioneer and arguably made the first ever animation in 1899. He worked with Birt Acres from 1892, first as a photographer, then later as a cameraman and director. In 1901 he founded the Alpha Trading Company and constructed a film studio in St. Albans. His St Albans Picture Palace in 1908 was one of the first purpose built cinemas utilising modern layouts and design.

 The collection contains family and business papers of Arthur Melbourne-Cooper as well as many personal effects and props used in his films. These include blueprints to the Letchworth Picture Palace from 1909, Melbourne-Cooper’s wallet and contents, and glass negatives taken by AMC and his father Thomas Milburn Cooper.

There are many notes, letters and newspaper and magazine clippings made by Audrey Wadowska as part of her life-long research into her father’s career. Wadowska was also an active member of the Society for Film History Research and the Cinema Theatre Association. Minutes, correspondence and journals from both organisations are well represented. As part of her research Wadowska also collected numerous press books and promotional material for silent films from the 1910s and 1920s as well as many London theatre programmes from the turn of the Twentieth Century. An unpublished AMC biography by John Grisdale dating from the 1960s is also included.

This collection was donated by the Dutch film and animation historians Tjitte de Vries and Ati Mul. de Vries and Mul’s detailed articles and research into Melbourne-Cooper is continuing the hard work begun by Wadowska. The collection continues to expand as more is donated.