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Millions of archived films and TV footage now accessible to all

Posted on 22/06/2011

More than 13 million film, television and radio records are now available thanks to a pioneering new search engine developed by Royal Holloway, University of London and the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC). 

The BUFVC federated search environment| is an innovative ‘all-in-one’ search engine that allows users to access nine online databases, containing records, relating to film, television and radio content.

Increasing quantities of archive film, television and radio content are available, but the content is usually delivered as stand-alone collections, with users needing to know where to look before they begin their research. This new search environment will allow researchers to browse all collections using the one search engine and provides results in an easy-to-view format with clean design and user-friendly icons. It also generates ‘related records & searches’, and has a detailed user history and export function.

The BUFVC federated search engine, which will be released under an open source licence this summer, is the result of a collaborative project between the BUFVC and Royal Holloway, University of London. The research project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under the Digital Equipment and Database enhancement for Impact programme.

John Ellis, Principal Investigator and Professor of Media Arts at Royal Holloway said: “Moving image and sound are an underused resource in teaching and research. Educators are keen to use them, but experience many problems in locating useful resources. This unified search of all BUFVC's existing databases solves this by providing a thoroughly tested user friendly interface with many novel features.”

Professor Shearer West, AHRC Director of Research added: “This project has been an excellent example of researchers collaborating together to ensure that the UK’s arts and humanities research base is continued and offers enhanced access to the latest digital technologies. The AHRC funding has meant that digital research outputs will remain at the cutting edge of technological developments and are compatible with requirements for long-term sustainability as well as having enhanced accessibility for as wide a range of audiences as possible”.

The BUFVC federated search environment can be found at http://beta.bufvc.ac.u


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