The Scottish Screen Archive (SSA),  a part of the National Library of Scotland, is looking for films and videos shot in Scotland over the last 40 years that may be gathering dust in attics and forgotten cupboards.

The SSA wants to collect the films and videos now as there is a danger they could be lost forever.  The films will be added to the national collection of film held by the SSA which provides a wonderful and unique record of Scotland in the 20thcentury.

Since the 1980s, most individuals, organisations or community groups have used video to capture ordinary life, local events, changes to their neighbourhood or to promote local interests.  However, as video is becoming increasingly obsolete tapes are being thrown away, and these unique visual records from the last few decades could be lost forever. The SSA is appealing to the public for help in saving these films to ensure the most complete record of life in Scotland from the 1970s up to the present day is preserved.

In particular it is looking for film / video / digital media material, fiction or non-fiction from:

  • Video workshops / community groups / action groups
  • Cine / Video Clubs
  • Promotional films for local industries / charities / tourism
  • Sport and leisure
  • Footage depicting significant changes in local communities
  • Special local community events. eg. Gala Days ; Millennium Celebrations

Kay Foubister, SSA Curator who is working on this project said: “The advent of cheaper video cameras in the 1980s and 1990s made it much easier for people to record local events. However, video has been replaced by newer technology and there is a real danger that these tapes will just be forgotten about and discarded. We want to prevent that happening.”

The SSA is looking for films from 1970 onwards and anyone who can help is asked to contact Kay by completing an online submission form at or by emailing . Alternatively, they can telephone on 0845 366 4608.

The SSA is also interested in films that were made by children in the same period. It is working with a team at the University of Glasgow who are researching aspects of childhood and the development of children making their own movies. This team in interested in hearing from anyone who

  • Made their own movies as a child
  • Were part of a group that ran video workshops for children
  • Participated as a child in movie making during the 1970s – 2000

Further information can be found on the project website or by writing to the research team, Dr Karen Lury and Dr Ryan Shand.

More than 1000 films or film clips depicting community life in Scotland throughout the 20th Century can be viewed on the SSA’s website at The website has just been recognised by List magazine as one of the top 30 webites in Scotland.