There has been a Film and Video Library at Beaulieu since 1979. It was established in that year as a response to the risks of historic film being lost, with the wholesale closure of film units and libraries among the motor manufacturers who were busy restructuring and losing non-essential operations in the recession that came at the end of the 1970s.
Material held by the Film and Video Library is made available to a wide audience through two main activities: themed film evenings which are held from time to time both at Beaulieu and elsewhere, and through making footage available to programme makers for broadcast, DVD etc.
The Collections held by the Library are vast, and include the Ford Film & Video Library, material from Vauxhall Motors, General Motors, the Rootes Group, Peugeot-Talbot, Dunlop, the Metropolitan Police, West Yorkshire Police, AA, RAC, Land Speed Record, Whitbread, a number of private collections, and more recently, the entire BBC Top Gear archive.
The Film and Video Library is served by an exceptionally well-equipped Film and Video Department. Apart from its two Steenbeck film viewing tables, it has two broadcast-standard telecines capable of transferring Super 8, 16mm & 35mm film to any format of video from domestic to professional, analogue or digital. Increasingly, material transferred on the telecine is recorded digitally on hard-drives, and this will continue to grow as the industry moves away from tape-based storage of video images. The Film and Video Department also has a High Definition Spirit telecine giving the ability to transfer film to full HD.
There is a wide variety of old video tape formats that have been used throughout the last 40 years, and the Department has devoted much time to acquiring the machines on which to run these tapes, allowing the migration of the programmes they contain onto current formats and ensuring their survival.
There are also two edit suites available on-site, thus ensuring a full production service is available. These, and the telecine facilities, are not just used by the Library at Beaulieu. The knowledge and expertise built up here over the years is widely recognised, and many companies, organisations and archives rely on the Film & Video Department at Beaulieu for efficient, cost-effective and quality-driven handling of their valuable archive material.
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