Screen Archive South East

The Fun of the Fair (ca.1962)
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Screen Archive South East is a public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England. Established in 1992 at the University of Brighton, this regional archive locates, collects, preserves, provides access to and promotes screen material related to the South East and of general relevance to moving image history.

The collection consists of magic lantern slides, film, videotape and digital formats. There are now over 8,000 films and some 10,000 19th century lantern slides, as well as a significant collection of film apparatus such as cameras and projectors.

The film material comes from record offices, museums, businesses, local authorities and private collections across the region. It includes corporate documentaries, promotional material produced for seaside resorts and the military, and work made by cine clubs, independent film-makers and families. These records capture many aspects of life, work and creativity in the 20th century and therefore serve as a rich and valuable historical resource.

Screen Archive South East is part of the University of Brighton and its primary partner is the West Sussex Record Office at Chichester. Our Conservation Centre and collection are housed within the Record Office and our administrative office is at the University.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

All visits by appointment only.

Admission charges

No charge for viewing; charges for reproduction, broadcast and other commercial uses.

Additional info

Research at SASE is by appointment.

Screen Archive South East was first committed to the care and preservation of the moving image as found on film and video. Its gradual transformation from a film & video archive into a screen archive enables it to expand its collecting remit so that it can embrace over four centuries of screen history from the magic lantern of the 1600s to the new screen culture of the 21st century. The Screen Archive is particularly interested in the magic lantern’s representation of social histories and popular narratives from the 1850s to the 1920s and its relation to the emergence of film from the 1890s. New digitally-created material includes the work of artists, fiction and non-fiction linear programmes and interactive productions such as DVDs, CD-ROMs, computer games and websites.

The film collection includes documentaries, newsreels, advertisements, and ‘home movies’ and reflects the changing nature of life and work in the South East in the 20thC. Its special features are:

* publicity material documenting the development of the seaside towns
* rural films chronicling village and agricultural life including May Fairs, harvesting, and hop picking
* early adaptations of Dickens and Hardy made at the Shoreham Studio, 1919-22
* 'local topicals' of Broadstairs in the 1930s by Enid Briggs - the largest single collection by a woman film-maker of the region
* family films representing particular social rituals such as weddings, birthdays and Christmas as recorded by different classes
* the Royal Sussex Regiment from the First World War to the Korean War
* representations of national moments of commemoration and celebration through historical pageants, the Jubilees of 1935 and 1977, the Coronations of 1937 and 1953, VE Day 1945 and the Festival of Britain in 1951

In collaboration with the British Film Institute and Hove Museum & Art Gallery, the archive has also assembled a unique collection of film and film-related materials (e.g. catalogues, photographs and apparatus) on the beginnings of film-making in the South East from 1895 to 1914. This includes work by the Hove Pioneers - G. A. Smith and James Williamson.

Collection details

Archives, Film and Media, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • Enid Briggs
  • G. A. Smith
  • James Williamson
  • Shoreham Studio
  • Jubilee of 1935 and 1977
  • Coronations of 1937 and 1953
  • VE Day 1945
  • Festival of Britain in 1951
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Films from the Home Front

A fascinating collection of moving images illustrating what life was like for ordinary people in Britain during the Second World War 1939-1945 . They include government public information films, home movies, documentaries and amateur films. Key themes include: children during the war, civil defence and the Home Guard, evacuation, women's role on the Home Front, VE day celebrations and post-war reconstruction. Each section provides access to selected films taken from the holdings of regional archives across England. The site is hosted by Screen Archive South East at the University of Brighton and forms part of the Moving History website.


  • Screen Archive South East


  • Screen Archive South East
  • University of Brighton

Screen Search Fashion

This online resource provides a thematic guide to 1920s and 1930s fashion and dress as depicted in film from Screen Archive South East’s (SASE) collections. Themes include 1920s fashion, 1930s fashion, work, sport, leisure and travel.


  • Dr Rebecca Arnold (Courtauld Institute of Art)
  • Carly Eck (Royal College of Art/V&A)
  • Hannah Kauffman (National Portrait Gallery)
  • Dr Frank Gray (SASE, University of Brighton)
  • Elaine Sheppard (SASE, University of Brighton)
  • Ine Van Dooren (SASE, University of Brighton)

Whitehawk Primary School on the Home Front

Screen Archive South East worked in partnership with children from Whitehawk Primary School, to explore the relevance and history of the Second World War. Events were run over the course of four days in 2008 where the children engaged in a number of learning activities including viewing archive films and meeting local 'home front veterans'. The many outputs from these activities can be seen on this site. The site shows the children touring the school's air raid shelter, creating commentaries for archive film, interviewing the 'veterans', performing dramas, creating art work, writing articles, letters and poetry.


  • Screen Archive South East


  • Screen Archive South East
  • University of Brighton

Screen Archive South East
University of Brighton
Grand Parade
Brighton & Hove
East Sussex


Screen Search - online film catalogue




01273 643213

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.