|Thursday December 12, 2013||Bill Douglas Cinema Museum > What is the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum?|
What is the Bill Douglas Centre?| Bill Douglas: Biography| History| Scope| The Bill Douglas Centre Gallery|
The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum (formerly the Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture) contains both a public museum and an academic research centre, housing one of Britain's largest public collections of books, prints, artefacts and ephemera relating to the history and prehistory of cinema. We opened to the public in the autumn of 1997 to encourage the ongoing enjoyment, understanding and study of this great, popular art form and its precursors.
The museum was founded in commemoration of film maker Bill Douglas (read Bill Douglas's Biography), one of the British cinema's most innovative auteurs. At the heart of the museum is the remarkable Bill Douglas and Peter Jewell Collection of approximately 50,000 items. The collection was formed over many years by Bill Douglas and his lifelong friend, Peter Jewell. Bill died in 1991, and Peter subsequently donated the Collection to the Exeter University Foundation.
Since the original donation, other collections have been given to the museum from a variety of sources. Roy Fowler, a former writer-producer-director of film and TV, generously gave his complete library of cinema- and broadcasting-related books, and continues to expand this area of the Centre's collections. To complement the existing strengths of the collections, the Centre was fortunate to be given the entire production archive of director-producer Don Boyd, for the 1970s and 1980s. This donation has been followed by a number of other key archival gifts, from producers James Mackay and Gavrik Losey, from screenwriter Anthony Attard and from the estate of the former head of the London Film School, Bob Dunbar. With this last collection the Centre acquired the LFS's registers for 1957–75, showing the enrolment of both Bill Douglas and Don Boyd on courses at the School.
View specific information on the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum archives
The museum provides a research collection of international stature, illustrating the development of optical recreation and popular entertainment from the late 18th century to Classical Hollywood and the present day. Complementing the University's existing extensive resources for the study of popular culture, the Collection of over 20,000 books gives Exeter the country's largest University library on cinema. About 1,000 of the most important items are on display in the museum's two galleries. The remaining thousands of books and objects are all available for study in the Special Collections and Bill Douglas Cinema Museum Reading Room.
The Old Library, The University of Exeter, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, Devon, UK EX4 4SB
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