Everyone's Virtual Exhibition (EVE)
EVE is the online catalogue and virtual exhibition space of the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. Through EVE you can explore the collection and create your own collections & exhibitions.
We are now The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum - open 7 days a week!
We have changed our name from The Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture to The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. Also our galleries are now open on Saturdays and Sundays (10-5) for everyone to enjoy.
We think that these changes better reflect our status as both an accredited museum open to the public and a world renowned resource for research and study and will make it clearer what we do and what we can offer. Our new name continues to honour our founder, Bill Douglas, now acknowledged as one of Britain’s greatest filmmakers. Weekend openings will give people working during the week or visiting Devon for a short break, the chance to see our galleries exhibiting highlights of our amazing collection. Research facilities are still Monday to Friday 10-5. Curators will not usually be around at weekend but you can email with enquiries and librarians and security staff will be on hand to help you during your visit and lend you guide books and audio guides. We will still be closed on bank holidays and between Christmas and New Year. This year we will be closing on Christmas Eve and reopening on Thursday 2 January.
The Museum holds over 75,000 artefacts related to the moving image, dating from the seventeenth century to the present day. As well as having two galleries, free and open to the public, our materials are used by researchers across the University and in the wider academy and in classes attended by nearly a thousand students across a range of disciplines each year.
We are also upgrading this website in partnership with developer Rock Kitchen Harris and we hope to launch the new, modern site with enhanced searching early in 2014.
New Exhibitions for Winter 2013/14 - American Independent Cinema, Visions of the Ancient World and 50 years of Doctor Who
A number of new temporary exhibitions are opening in November/December in the museum. Firstly we have a student curated case showing items from the collection on American Independent Cinema.
Museum volunteer Amy Hubbard was in charge of curating the case alongside 7 students studying the third year Film Studies module 'American Independent Cinema' taught by Dr James Lyons. The case, tracks the development of Indepent cinema in the US from the success of 'Dirty Dancing' to works by auteurs such as Wes Anderson and the Coen Brothers and next week the team will contribute a piece on our blog. Pictured here are Amy, Josh Webb and Daisy Bird. Also involved in the exhibition were Rebekah Heaney, Maddie Joint, Imogen Buller, George Graham and Lauren O'Neill.
In our foyer you will also see a larger display called 'Visions of the Ancient World'. This exhibition was curated by Curatorial assistant Rhiannon with the help of Classics post-graduates Jasmine and Claudia and draws on two centuries of items around the moving image depicting ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt and Biblical stories, including this splendid game produced to tie-in with the 1959 version of 'Ben-Hur'.
Finally we have a small display to mark the 50th anniversary of British TV institution Doctor Who with a number of items from his various incarnations, including memorable opponents such as the Daleks. The exhibition was curated by Curatorial Assistant Mike Rickard together with second year student Yoshinobu Katayama. It combines material from our collections with some artefacts generously loaned to us by Doctor Who fans Hazel Went and Katie Newstead.
Vintage Day 8 June 2013
Our vintage day at the museum on Saturday 8 June proved really successful with around 150 visitors- thanks very much to all of you that came and joined in the fun! This included special themed displays from the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s-70s featuring artefacts and images from the collection not normally on display (these are still up for the next couple of weeks if you didn't get a chance to see them). We had songs from noir siren Lola Portmanteaux while downstairs DJ Tom Stevenson pumped out jazz 78s from his wind-up gramophone.
We also enjoyed tea and cake from the smashing The Hidden Treasure Tea Room, who will be opening a shop in Exeter shortly. There were also six fabulous and very well-attended mini-lectures from University academics on film, popular culture and style.
Dr Lisa Stead - Female film fans of the 1920s
Dr David Thackeray - The British New Wave
Professor Jo Gill - American Suburbs and 1950s style
Dr Vike Plock - British Vogue after World War One
Dr Helen Hanson - Rita Hayworth and 1940s glamour
Dr Sinead Moynihan - The Great Gatsby and the 1920s
Dr Sam Goodman - James Bond
Animate! From Pencil to Pixel
We are very pleased to have loaned around 100 items from the collection to Dorset County Museum in Dorchester this summer for their exhibition Animate! From Pixel to Pencil. The exhibition, which finished in October 2013, also featured items from Aardman Animations, the BFI and the Ray Harryhausen Foundation, covered the history of animation from pre-cinema to the present day. Our loans include an original mutoscope; ephemera on Felix the Cat, the first cartoon star; material on Muybridge and selections from the Robin Allan Collection, our amazing resource on Disney films and artists. You can find more details at Animate!
We also had loans in Summer 2013 at Topsham Museum for their displays celebrating the centenary of one of Britain's most fascinating actors, Vivien Leigh and for Torquay Museum's summer exhibition on pirates.
The Streets of Hollywood - The Photographs of Daniel Teoli Jr.
We are delighted to announce the donation of twenty archival pigment prints of images from Hollywood and Los Angeles in the 1970s and 1980s from American photographer Daniel Teoli Jr. We are extremely grateful to Daniel for this very generous donation of these fantastic images of LA street life in this period, which will be a great asset for teaching and research at the University. The pictures feature in Daniel's book 'Peephole: Peering into the World of 1970's Hollywood and LA' and you can see more of his work at Daniel Teoli Jr
Anton Walbrook Exhibition
From 6 March to the end of June 2013, we held a unique exhibition in the foyer of the old library, combining artefacts with original artwork. The subject of the exhibition was Anton Walbrook, one of cinema's most enigmatic stars. As Adolph Wohlbrűck he was a huge star in Germany before fleeing the Nazis and becoming a hugely popular figure in Britain as Anton Walbrook, where he appeared in a number of Powell and Presburger classics, including The Red Shoes, and other starring roles, notable Prince Albert in Victoria the Great. The exhibition combines artefacts from The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum and the private collection of museum volunteer James Downs, currently writing a biography of Walbrook, with the unique work of artist Matt McLaren, who creates illustrations of Walbrook, and then cuts them out and photographs them, producing a three dimensional effect. We were very proud to present the first public showcase of Matt's work and to celebrate the unique figure of Anton Walbrook. You can find James's essay on Walbrook here Anton Walbrook by James Downs and if you are interested in buying any print's of Matt's work you can contact him here or look at his website
Angry Young Men Exhibition
In spring 2013 we had another new temporary exhibition here at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. This display looked at the 'Angry Young Men' of British Cinema in the new wave films of the late 1950s and early 1960s such as Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and A Kind of Loving and their influences, such as James Dean. These films featured a new generation of British actors with working-class backgrounds who transformed the conventions of British cinema and performance. As always the display was curated by students - here from the 2nd year History course 'Gender and Citizenship', which studies the films and their period. Left to right with the case are Virginia Walsh, BDC Volunteer Emily Vine, Lydia Murtezaoglu, and Asha Hornsby and Sophie Noke was also part of the team. The students said "we really enjoyed the challenge of finding artefacts to reflect the themes in the case and it was interesting for us, as young women, to look at masculinity fifty years ago". You can also find a blog post by Emily and Sophie at http://billdouglascentre.wordpress.com/
Italian Beauty at the BDC
In Autumn 2012 we held a temporary display at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum - 'The Search for Beauty: Italian Women on Screen'. The display was curated by BDC volunteer Zoe Wolstenholme and four students studying Italian; Grazia Guilia Gigante, Emily King, Isabel Davies and Sophie Adams. The display looks at the great Italian stars of the 1950s and 60s such as Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida and the phenomenon of the 'maggiorata', and also Belinda Lee, the Rank starlet from Budleigh Salterton who reinvented herself as a sultry star in Italy before her untimely death in 1961. You can see an album of images inspired by the exhibition on our facebook page.
Explore the World of 'Seeking the Lanternist'
Imagine a future without moving images - at the end of this century people are living in a totalitarian world where cinema and film are strictly banned. We have been contacted by Erica, a resistance leader from this future world, to see if we can help them learn about the history of the moving image and what cinema has meant to its audience. As The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is one of Europe’s leading cinema museums, we are able to help them.
We have a link to a website where we can communicate with these people from the future through a set of challenges that will unlock the answers to why cinema matters. Go to http://www.seekingthelanternist.net/ and share it with your friends to discover film and help Erica and her friends reinstate it in their time.
Silent Classics in Exeter
In November 2012 we supported the screening of two of the masterpieces of German Expressionist cinema in Exeter - 'The Cabinet of Dr Caligari' at the Phoenix on Monday 19 November and the horror classic 'Nosferatu' at the Northcott Theatre on Tuesday 20th. Both films were accompanied by Stephen Horne, one of the UK's foremost composers and musicians for silent film - his score for Hitchcock's 'The Manxman' premiered at the London Film Festival 2012.
Marilyn - The Enduring Icon. Special Exhibition to mark 50 years since her death
The weekend of 4-5 August 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Marilyn Monroe and to commemorate this most enduring of film icons there was a special exhibition of some selected artefacts from our collection on the star in the foyer of the University's Old Library, the building that houses The Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture, the University of Exeter’s Cinema Museum.
Bill Douglas Centre Curator Phil Wickham says; “The sheer scale and range of the items we hold on Marilyn is staggering and reflects her importance in popular culture, even 50 years after her untimely death. We have shelves of books, calendars, statuettes, clothing and branded household items. We have a small permanent shelf of Marilyn memorabilia on display in the museum but the anniversary demands a special exhibition to showcase a few more of the vast amount of other artefacts that we hold on her. Her popularity has, if anything, increased as the years have gone by".
The exhibition was curated by Hannah Lamarque, a Bill Douglas Centre volunteer and student about to embark on her third year studying English at Exeter. Hannah says: “ I have always been aware of Marilyn Monroe as an iconic figure and after seeing her films as a teenager I became a firm fan. She is so charismatic on film and her life and image is so endlessly fascinating. It has been great to put together the exhibition from all the fantastic Marilyn items –old and new- at the Bill Douglas Centre, where I have volunteered for over a year. We have tried to show through the objects why she still retains so much power as an icon”.
The exhibition proved very successful, attracting fans from across the country. If you missed the exhibition you can still find Marilyn memorabilia in the Upper Gallery and request to see more items by emailing us in advance of your visit..
A New View of a Cinema Pioneer
We are delighted to announce the acquisition of a large oil Painting of Cinema pioneer Leo Kamm, which has been generously donated to the BDC by his grandsons; Paul, Nick, Steve and Laurence Kamm. We already have one of the best collections of early cinema artefacts and ephemera in the UK, put together by the filmmaker Bill Douglas and his friend Peter Jewell. This oil painting is a great addition to our holdings, shedding light on an alternative course that cinema might have taken.
Leo Kamm was one of the pioneers of cinema technology in Britain and the inventor of the Kammatograph, a filmless camera and projector that used glass plates to capture images and show them to an audience. It was patented in 1898, two years after the first demonstration of Lumière’s cinematograph in Britain. The Kammatograph used a system of glass discs with a mechanism that produced a spiral row of pictures. It was enclosed in a box that was attached to a magic lantern to project the pictures that edged the glass discs and proved popular for a few years around the turn of the last century.
Leo, who had come to London from Germany, later embraced film and ran a very successful projection and photographic family business for many years. He produced a full range of electrical equipment, from film projectors to typewriters, and in 1907, at a time when moving pictures were becoming immensely popular, was selling all kinds of moving picture apparatus from his office in Cecil Court, London, then the centre of the British film industry.
BDC in the City Centre!
We are delighted to announce that the BDC has a presence this summer in Exeter City Centre. The Guildhall Shopping Centre has very kindly allowed us to use a shop unit to promote the museum and our extraordinary collections on the history of the moving image. We are on the Queen Street side of the shopping centre, just opposite The Body Shop, so come down and take a look if you are in the area.
Andrew McNeilly, centre manager at the Guildhall Shopping Centre, commented: “We are delighted to be able to host a display from the Bill Douglas Centre. It is a superb museum and we hope that our display will let more people know about it, so they can visit the university to see it for themselves.”Phil Wickham, Curator of the Bill Douglas Centre, added; “ We are very grateful to the Guildhall Shopping Centre for giving us space to promote the museum and reach new audiences who can discover our great collection”.
Many thanks to the team of Nick Hall, Gemma Poulton, Hannah Lamarque, Emma Down, Zoe Wolstenholme, and Emma Holifield who made this possible and put the display together.
Summer Holiday Workshops at the BDC
We held an animation and multimedia workshop for older children age 12-16 children on 31 July 2012 with creative activities based around some of the objects and ideas in the museums. Participants designed posters and animated trailers for an imaginary film. The young children's workshop didn't run this time. On October 28 we will be hosting Exeter Phoenix's Family Sunday event -contact the Phoenix for further details.
We have a new BDC blog up and running at billdouglascentre.wordpress.com which will have contributions from volunteers, students, staff, and fans of the collection. There are some entries already up, including new posts from History Lecturer Dr. David Thackeray on using our artefacts for teaching, and from BDC volunteers Victoria Rogers on using the BDC for her History dissertation research on Homosexuality in British Cinema in the 1960s and Katie Newstead on our Disney collections.
New Student exhibition - Film and the Rise of the Female Consumer
We held a new temporary exhibition curated by students in the Bill Douglas Centre in Spring 2012. The display is entitled 'Film and the Rise of the Female Consumer'' and uses artefacts from the collection to look at the development of consumer culture and its links to the predominantly female cinema audience, particularly in the 1920s. The display was put together by five second year History students: Rose Bray led a team comprising Lucy Bowker, Holly Pound, Marie Cousin and Louie Freeman-Bassett. Many of the team are taking the 'Gender and Citizenship' module which examines some of these issues. Much of the exhibition is structured around two female stars: American sensation Clara Bow, and her British counterpart Betty Balfour, who became famous playing Cockney flower-girl Squibs - as seen in this sheet music, which is included in the display. It also features cigarette cards, figurines, adverts from magazines showing how products were sold to the cinemagoing woman, and even hairgrips branded with British film stars. You can find an article by Lucy about the exhibition here Film and the Rise of Female Consumerism by Lucy Bowker
Dickens at 200
Tuesday 7th February 2012 marked the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens. To mark the occasion a small new exhibition presenting artefacts from both the Bill Douglas Centre and the University's Special Collections was created by students in the foyer of the Research Commons in the Old Library building on campus. The small display included images from original serialisations of Dickens' novels in the mid 19th century and first editions of his stories in book forms from Special Collections and stills, publicity material and ephemera from the many cinema adaptations of Dickens, such as this sheet music for the 1922 version of Oliver Twist starring Jackie Coogan. Professor Grahame Smith's study Dickens and the Dream of Cinema suggested that Dickens had a cinematic sensibility ahead of his time and he was certainly fascinated by moving image entertainments. Some of these featured his own stories and the display includes lantern slides based on A Christmas Carol. The exhibition team was led by BDC volunteer Anna Langdon and also included Amy Weller, Helena Shand, and Tara Rogers. If you are interested in seeing the Dickens related items in our collections they can be consulted by appointment in the Special Collections Reading Room.
Our BDC - New Articles on Photography and Film Music
We have two new articles as the the latest contributions to 'Our BDC' - where volunteers and others that love our collections write about their favourite things.
James Downs has written about our collections of photographs here Photography at the Bill Douglas Centre by James Downs
James has volunteered at the BDC for three years - he has published a number of articles on early photography and previously worked in archives in his native Scotland before coming to Devon.
Our regular facebook poster Hannah Lamarque has also written an article, in her case about Film Scores and Composers. Hannah is a musician who plays the violin, and is currently in her second year studying English at the University. She has volunteered for a year at the BDC and has worked extensively on our music collections. .Her article is here:
Film Scores and Composers by Hannah Lamarque
You will also find a weekly choice of object by our Hannah each week at our BDC facebook page. If you 'like' the BDC page you will receive our updates in your feed. Scroll down for more 'Our BDC' essays.
Special Event - Bryony Dixon on 'Why Silent Film Still Matters' 30 January 2012
Why Silent Film Still Matters
We held a very successful special event here on Monday 30 January. Bryony Dixon, Silent Film Curator at the BFI, author of 100 Silent Films and co-director of The British Silent Film Festival, gave an illustrated lecture on 'Why Silent Film Still Matters'. Perfectly timed for the release of the wildly popular award-nominated new silent film The Artist, the talk examined the unique magic of silent cinema to a large audience of both students and visitors. Bryony gave a fabulous talk and a number of members of the audience said how enthused she had made them about the wonders of the silent screen.
Try our new Audio-Visual Guide!
If you are a visitor who loves our pre-cinema artefacts but would like to know more about the collection, then we are pleased to introduce our new free audio-visual guide tour!
The audio-guide is designed to tour visitors around the museum’s lower gallery alongside parts 1 and 2 of the guide book (free to loan from the reception desk in the old library).
Peter Jewell himself - lifelong friend of Bill Douglas and principal donor to the museum - narrates the guide, leading visitors from pre-cinema through to the beginnings of film, offering insight into the history and acquisition of items in the collection.
The tour begins with shadow puppets and progresses to optical entertainments and Magic Lantern projection before introducing the beginnings of film through the pioneering Lumiere brothers and early film paraphernalia.
The equipment was provided through the 'Count Me In' scheme organised by Devon Museums. Young Ambassadors Daniel Milner and Jenny Wood recorded the commentary as part of this scheme and BDC volunteers Nick Hall and Alex Tindall have subsequently edited the material and prepared the equipment for visitors
To take advantage of this service please ask for a free audio-guide from the curator’s office. They are simple to use, and we hope they will enlighten your visit!
Black History Month at the BDC
We held a temporary exhibition at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum to mark Black History Month in 2011. 'African-American's on Screen' has been curated by a team of 4 students as part of the University's activities for Black History Month. The team - from left to right in the picture above, Nick Abbey, Ellen Browne, Nina Gillespie, and Annie Purrier - researched and selected items from the collection charting the changes in black representation and participation in cinema, particularly in America, from the earliest moving image forms to the present day.
Nick Abbey from the team said: ' We enjoyed finding artefacts that helped us to see the progression in the depiction of black people in cinema, from the overtly racist images often seen in the earliest films to current releases. African-Americans are now actively involved in both auteur and commercial cinema, starring in and making their own narratives about their experience but also involved in mainstream entertainment. Being involved in the Centre was a fantastic opportunity enjoyed by the whole team'.
Click below to find a history of Black representation in American cinema written by the curatorial team for the display.
African-Americans on Screen by Nick Abbey, Ellen Browne, Nina Gillespie and Annie Purrier
Family Fun Day 29 October 2011
Our family fun day took place on Saturday 29 October featuring a children's magic lantern show with performances by 'Professor' Mervyn Heard' one of the UK's foremost lanternists. Over a hundred children and parents enjoyed activities for families based on the artefacts in the museum, making shadow puppets, zoetropes, thaumatropes and projections.
Flyer for Family Fun Day
100 Years since the First Film Fan Magazine
100 years ago, on 21 October 1911, the first ever film fan magazine, The Pictures was published. We hold the magazine in The Bill Douglas Centre (see the picture of the cover above) and our collection tracks a century of fan magazines in the UK, from the beautifully illustrated editions in the 1920s to Empire and Total Film today.
Click here for an article on our fan magazines by Dr Lisa Stead, who studied the BDC's fan magazines in the 1920s for her PhD, and the BDC's curator, Phil Wickham.
Bill Douglas Symposium 23 September 2011
On 23 September we held a symposium of papers to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Bill Douglas, one of Britain's greatest filmmakers and who gives his name to our museum.
There were papers from a number of eminent scholars: Karen Lury (University of Glasgow) spoke about the idea of contingency in Bill's Trilogy, Brian Hoyle (University of Dundee) talked about his unmade film projects, Jonny Murray (Edinburgh College of Art) put his work in the context of Scottish filmmaking of the period and Paul Newland (University of Aberystwyth) discussed the importance of landscape in Bill's epic Comrades. Filmmaker Sean Martin talked through images of cinema and the pre-cinematic in theTrilogy and Andrew Noble (ex- University of Strathclyde) shared his and others memories of working with Bill. The BDC's principal donor, Peter Jewell, introduced some of the highlights of the unique collection of artefacts that he and Bill put together and told how they came to acquire them. There was also the first ever screening of Charlie Chaplin Lived Here, Bill and Peter's 8mm film made in 1966, which inspired quite a bit of press interest.
There will be another important event to mark the anniversary of Bill's death in Edinburgh on 29th and 30th October, which is a festival being run by Craigmillar Community Arts at Bill's birthplace of Newcraighall. There will be films, exhibitions and discussions including a talk by Peter Jewell. Go to Bill Douglas - A Place of Dreams
New film about The Bill Douglas Centre
The Bill Douglas Centre Film
Click here for our new student made film about the work of The Bill Douglas Centre. The film was made by MA students Hannah Brown, Laz Carter, and Joe Hickinbottom and funded by the Exeter University Foundation. Many thanks to all that took part and helped in the making of the film. You can also find the film on the University's youtube channel and embedded in the BDC's facebook pages.
The Chinese World on Film
To celebrate the publication of The Chinese Cinema Book (BFI/Palgrave Macmillan, May 2011), edited by University of Exeter’s film academic, Dr. Song Hwee Lim (and Julian Ward from the University of Edinburgh), in 2011 we put together a new temporary public display showcasing our many artefacts on the Chinese world on screen. The display was put together by first year English and Film undergraduate Pippa Dixon-Marshall and two PhD students working on Taiwan cinema, Yen-nan Lin and Wan-jui Wang (here is a photo of Yen-nan, Wan-jui and Pippa with the display case). The items on display encompass materials on Chinese-language films as well as on English-language films that have drawn inspiration from or been set in the Chinese world. Items from earlier periods include pre-cinematic Chinese shadow puppet and novels on which Hollywood films from the 1920s were based, whereas more recent items highlight the global reach of Chinese cinemas in the figures of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan and in the popular genre of the wuxia (swordplay, martial arts) film, such as Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Click here for the Chinese language flyer for the display
Family Fun Day!
Following the success of our first family fun day in July (see below) we held another very popular Family Fun day on Saturday 26th February 2011, which had 130 visitors. Guests took part in activities including animation, shadow puppets, and flick book making for families and children of all ages. The event was again organised by educator Clare Saunders and featured a computer animation workshop by community artist Kate Green. Here are some pictures from the event:
BDC Museum Guide now available
The Bill Douglas Centre's Museum Guide has now been published, edited by BDC curator Phil Wickham and designed by Delphine Jones from the University's Communications and Marketing department. The guide has over 100 pages of text about the museum's collections of cinema and pre-cinema, written by experts from the University of Exeter, with over 100 full colour pictures of our artefacts. You can buy a copy of the guide for £10 at the Centre or borrow one for your tour of the galleries from the reception desk at the Old Library. If you live further away and would like to purchase a copy you can either send us a cheque payable to the University of Exeter for £13 (inc £3 for postage) or contact us at bdc for details on card payment options. The Guide's ISBN is 978-0-902746-16-9.
Welcome to a new regular feature on the Bill Douglas Centre website - 'Our BDC' is space where students, volunteers, and indeed anyone passionate about our collections write about their research using the Centre's artefacts or about their favourite object in the museum. Further pieces will be added and 'Our BDC' will have a permanent home on our Teaching and Learning page with alerts to new material here on the home page.
BDC volunteer Maria Rose has written articles on Art Deco and Cinema
Art Deco style and cinema by Maria Rose
and on the enduring appeal of Louise Brooks and the artefacts we hold on the star in the Centre. Maria put together a small exhibition of materials related to Louise Brooks and Pandora's Box that we displayed before the screening on the 23 June at the Phoenix.
'There is only Louise Brooks!' by Maria Rose
Laurence Olivier Cigarettes by Jennifer Barnes
Anton Walbrook by James Downs
Elizabeth Taylor 1932-2011 by Hannah Lamarque
American Celebrity Magazines of the 1960s by Nick Hall
Michael Powell by Jade Cancelliere and Rachael Grant
The Wonder Emporium of The Bill Douglas Centre by Anna Thorp
SCREENING THE SOUTH WEST
An AHRC-funded project at the University of Exeter, Department of English and Film
Moving and projected images played a key role in popular and educational entertainment between 1820 and 1914, whether it was a Sunday school class gathered together for a magic lantern performance, children enjoying a peepshow at a fair, or a formal lantern lecture presented to the local Literary Society; a touring panorama displayed at the local town hall or the pictures shown by the cinematograph at the music hall. All classes and age groups participated in the rich array of popular, image-based entertainments, but until now, little work has been done to map the extent and impact of those occasions in provincial towns and cities in England. The purpose of this AHRC-funded project has been to demonstrate the extensive regional distribution of moving and projected images by mapping their exhibition across the south west of England in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The project team surveyed exhibition practices, shows and showmen across Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Torquay, Barnstaple, Weston-Super-Mare and Penzance, uncovering a range of sites and shows, from the annual visits of Poole’s Myriorama to the magic lantern display of holiday photographs by a genteel Devon clergyman.
This online exhibition presents just some of the images, reports and anecdotes uncovered in the project survey.
(Project website at http://www.sall.ex.ac/projects/screenhistorysw) and a more detailed essay on the project can be found at Moving and Projected Image Entertainment in the SW
FAMILY FUN DAY
On Saturday 24th July 2010 The Bill Douglas Centre held its first Family Fun Day event. The day was a great success with over 80 visitors, many of them making their first trip to the Centre, including of course many children. The Fun Day was organised by educator Clare Saunders and featured a range of activities including making slides, zoetropes, flick books, shadow puppets, and working with computer animator Kate Green.
All the activities reflected the main themes within The Bill Douglas Centre's collections - projecting images and making pictures move to create spectacular effects and tell stories. Visitors were also able to explore our galleries and exhibits, discovering what a treasure trove they had on their own doorstep.
Thanks to Clare and Kate for all their help on the day and to our fabulous student volunteers - Jade Cancelliere, Rachael Grant, and Hannah Brown -who worked tirelessly to help children enjoy the museum and make wonderful artefacts of their own. Hopefully we will be able to run further Fun Days in the future - many thanks to all those who participated.
BDC Visitors' Education Pack
We are proud to announce that the BDC Visitors’ education pack is now available. The pack is specially designed for school groups and families visiting the Bill Douglas Centre and provides information about our collections and activities inspired by our artefacts. The pack is suitable for a number of different age groups and can be combined with a group tour or visit of the centre for local schools, families, or visitors to Devon. Alternatively it can be used for activities within schools that are not within reach of Exeter, in conjunction with our website. The pack has been devised in collaboration with Exeter City Council and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter. There are a limited number of hard copy editions or a PDF can be emailed. If you are interested please contact
New Temporary Exhibition at Queen's Building
A new display featuring previously unexhibited items from The Bill Douglas Centre Collections can now be seen in the University.
In Queen’s Buildings, between the café and the senior common room, we have a display entitled ‘Treasures from the Bill Douglas Centre’. This features a miscellany of dozens of artefacts, spanning two centuries and the vast range of objects that we hold related to the moving image, from lantern slides to toys to cigarette cards. The display aims to tempt those that have not yet made it to our free, public museum to visit the galleries in the old library and has been put together by our volunteers Rosie Gibbs, Eleanor Sanderson and Jo Mills. Eleanor and Rosie, who have led much of the redisplay work in our permanent galleries, say that 'we found the open brief for this exhibition fun; it allowed us to explore all sorts of new and unusual material throughout a collection we have come to know and love'.
Disney at The Bill Douglas Centre - The Robin Allan Collection
The Bill Douglas Centre is proud to announce the addition of a significant new collection available to researchers thanks to a very generous donation from renowned animation scholar Robin Allan, author of 'Walt Disney and Europe' (1999). The Robin Allan collection is particularly strong on material connected with Walt Disney Productions and includes; a large number of books; research conducted for Robin's publications including transcripts of interviews with Disney artists; and a collection of original, and very beautiful, animation cells made for Disney's films. Robin writes that; 'I knew of The Bill Douglas Centre through my interest in the cinema and knowledge of Bill Douglas and his films, and it seems to me appropriate that my collection should have a fitting home at Exeter, where I was awarded my PhD on the work of Disney, so that other students would benefit from access to the material I had collected for many years.
An Animation section in the Centre's library has been opened, comprising largely of material from The Robin Allan Collection. There is also a large amount of Disney memorabilia here, collected by Bill Douglas and Peter Jewell as part of our founding collection, some of which is displayed in our upper gallery. This new donation, added to our existing holdings, creates a very significant research resource on animation, and especially The Walt Disney Company, whose stories and images have had such a huge influence on our culture.
Student Work on the BDC
We have uploaded three student essays using the collections on to the site. They focus on artefacts connected with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Rebecca and Doctor Zhivago. Go to The University of Exeter - Bill Douglas Centre - Teaching and Learning for details.