Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection's image
Created: 2013-08-05 14:30
Institution: Cambridge University Library
Description: The Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection contains twenty-one original amateur films made primarily in Africa, South and South East Asia, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, and the US. It also contains viewing copies of three Ministry of Information and government-commissioned films. The films have been recently digitized, catalogued and researched and are now available for viewing on the Streaming Media Service, University of Cambridge (see Media items below).

The original footage belongs mainly to the Tymms Film Collection with seventeen 16mm and 8mm colour and b/w films made in Africa, South and South East Asia and West Indies between the mid-1920s and the early 1960s. Sir Frederick Tymms (1889-1987) worked on the development of air routes in Africa and India, before becoming Director of Civil Aviation in India, 1931-1942, then Director General, 1945-1947. During the 1920s – 1960s Sir Frederick filmed on several occasions in Africa (Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya), India (Hyderabad, Jaipur, Shimla, Delhi, Bombay), Kashmir, the West Indies (Dominica), and in Canada (Montreal, Prince Edward Island). Some of the key topics covered by Sir Frederick include gold mining in the Mpanda District (Tanzania), the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation meeting at Montreal on 19 June 1952, and travel scenes in Bombay, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Myanmar (Burma), Singapore, and Karachi.

The RCS Film Collection also includes three 16mm films commissioned by the South African Aid to Britain Fund, titled ‘West African Tour’ (November 1955 - January 1956). The South African Aid films document the tour undertaken by six British men and women in the Gold Coast and Nigeria – the tour was meant ‘to give a representative group of British youth experience of conditions of life and work in the Gold Coast and Nigeria’.

The RCS Film Collection also includes a 16mm colour film made by Malcolm John MacDonald (politician and diplomat, 1901-1981) showing a festival of Chinese fashions (c. 1951).

Almost all the RCS films have corresponding RCS cross-archival paper and photographic references.

Lastly, the RCS film collection holds viewing copies of the ‘Colonial Cinemagazine 29 – Installation of H.R.H. Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone as Chancellor of University College of West Indies’ (Colonial Film Unit, 1950), and of the ‘Royal Tour of South Africa’ (British Movietonews, 1947). These films may be viewed by current staff and students of the University of Cambridge (using your Raven password) and by others upon request only in Cambridge University Library's Royal Commonwealth Society Department. Please contact rcs@lib.cam.ac.uk to make an appointment.

As an introduction to the collection, there are two podcasts by Cambridge academics, film theorist Dr Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes, and cultural historian Dr Sujit Sivasundaram, in which they reveal their favourite films.

Image: 'Tymms Film 8 © Royal Commonwealth Society Collections, Cambridge University Library'
 

Media items

This collection contains 26 media items.

Note: some media items are not shown, because they are only visible to Raven users. To see these media items, you must log in.
Showing results 1-20 of 23    < Prev    1 2    Next >
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Media items

Malcolm J. MacDonald Film

   16 views

A short amateur film (1min 40sec) made in colour 16mm and showing several South East Asian women (and one man) parading in elegant costumes ranging from traditional qipao to...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Wed 4 Sep 2013


Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes on the RCS film collection

   21 views

Dr Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes talks about the importance of the Royal Commonwealth Society Film collection and how she believes the collection can be used in academic research, and...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Thu 13 Mar 2014


South African Aid to Britain Fund Film 1

   23 views

‘South African Aid to Britain Fund Overseas travel parties for Youth. West Africa Tour. November 1955 – January 1956.’

Includes a list of the personnel of the Committee...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Wed 4 Sep 2013


South African Aid to Britain Fund Film 2

   9 views

Part of 'South African Aid to Britain Fund Overseas travel parties for Youth. West Africa Tour. November 1955 - January 1956.' Intertitles include: 'Nigeria - the largest of...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Wed 4 Sep 2013


South African Aid to Britain Fund Film 3

   4 views

Part of ‘South African Aid to Britain Fund Overseas travel parties for Youth. West Africa Tour. November 1955 – January 1956’, and second part of the RCMS 219/3/2 film on Nigeria....

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Wed 4 Sep 2013


Sujit Sivasundaram on the RCS film collection

   10 views

Dr Sujit Sivasundaram talks about the importance of the Royal Commonwealth Society Film collection and how he believes the collection can be used in academic research, and by the...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Thu 13 Mar 2014


Tymms Collection on civil aviation Film 10

   13 views

A short 16mm undated film (1min) without sound. The opening scene is of brightly lit street signs at night. Another scene shows a woman's hands snapping and twisting a twig,...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Thu 5 Sep 2013


Tymms Collection on civil aviation Film 11

   8 views

A very short 16mm undated film (7 sec) excerpt without sound. A family on a beach (possibly reading a letter). Written on the film spool: 'Brackley Beach'. Related collections:...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Thu 5 Sep 2013


Tymms Collection on civil aviation Film 12

   24 views

A 16 mm, black-and-white film (11min 12sec.) without sound, probably taken in 1925. The writing on the film can says 'Lutenbe and Karamoja. Birds and Buck Kasi[a]o and Church's...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Thu 5 Sep 2013


Tymms Collection on civil aviation Film 13

   5 views

A 16mm black-and-white film (4min 48sec) without sound of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (I.C.A.O.) meeting at Montreal on 19 June 1952; general...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Wed 11 Sep 2013


Tymms Collection on civil aviation Film 14

   16 views

A 16mm colour film of Tanzania (10min 03sec) . The film begins with a map of Tanganyika. Other scenes include mine plants/shafts, rock outcrops, locust swarms, gold...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Wed 11 Sep 2013


Tymms Collection on civil aviation Film 15

   7 views

A 16mm, colour film (6min 16sec) without sound, showing of erosion in Tanganyika (Tanzania), railway bridge building and fishing. The writing on the film can reads: 'Tanganyika....

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Wed 11 Sep 2013


Tymms Collection on civil aviation Film 16

   18 views

A 16mm black-and-white film (9min 49sec) without sound. Showing, among others, busy street scenes, farming scenes, elephant rides, coastal scenes and a view of a mountain range....

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Wed 11 Sep 2013


Tymms Collection on civil aviation Film 17

   20 views

An 16 mm, black-and-white film (12min 21sec) without sound. A label on the film reel reads: 'India B&W copy. North West Frontier Province. Kashmir. Palampur. Simla'. Views of the...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Fri 13 Sep 2013


Tymms Collection on civil aviation Film 19

   19 views

A16 mm, black-and-white film (10min 54sec), without sound. Written on the film can is 'Bombay, Ceylon, Burma, Singapore, Karachi'. Scenes of fishing boats, street vendors,...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Fri 13 Sep 2013


Tymms Collection on civil aviation Film 2

   10 views

A 16mm, black-and-white and colour film (12min 16sec), without sound, showing urban and rural scenes filmed in 1940 in Nairobi, Nyeri, Rift Valley, and Karema Depression Region. ...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Thu 5 Sep 2013


Tymms Collection on civil aviation Film 20

   14 views

A 16mm colour film (9min 09sec). 'Tanganyika Territory' Tabora Region. Tanzania. Notes on the film can read: 'Uvinza to Mpanda Goldfield. Nov. 1939. Musoma to Kagera. Jan. 1939....

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Fri 13 Sep 2013


Tymms Collection on civil aviation Film 3

   4 views

A 16mm colour film (11min 54sec) without sound. Mainly general countryside and family scenes filmed between 1951-1952. Short scenes of fisherman at work. A note on the film can...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Thu 5 Sep 2013


Tymms Collection on civil aviation Film 4

   2 views

A 16mm colour film (11min 53sec), without sound. Mainly scenes showing the St Lawrence 'freeze up' of 1951-1952, including road clearance scenes, winter sports and a view of ice...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Thu 5 Sep 2013


Tymms Collection on civil aviation Film 5

   8 views

A 16mm colour film (7min 22sec) without sound, showing scenes of fruit and flower markets; sealife; beachside swimming and sunbathing; people racing in snowshoes; views from an...

Collection: Royal Commonwealth Society Film Collection

Institution: Cambridge University Library

Created: Thu 5 Sep 2013


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