The Field Project

We have now completed our deliverables for The Field project funded by The Wellcome Trust.

  • 1668 images were selected, of which 1493 have been digitised. We were able to catalogue 1683 contact sheets, 1754 negatives and 88 glass negatives, a total of 3,525 records.
  • 293 films from the Ministry of Agriculture’s film library were digitised and will be available on the Virtual Reading Room or Dedicated Terminals in the Reading Room by January 2021.
  • 50 reel to reel films from the Richard Watts film collection have been digitised and catalogued as part of the project. Karen Sayer and Caroline Gould agreed on a revised list of films from the Richard Watts film archive for digitisation in Nov 2019.
  • The MERL’s objective was to identify copyright holders for the films contained in the Ministry of Agriculture Film Library . As a result of the copyright research MERL is now able to submit the Ministry of Agriculture films into the European Rural History Film Database. The Online-Portal of the European Rural History Film Association contains a selection of the films (works) which are catalogued in the Database of the ERHFA
  • The Database is a working tool of the institutional members of the ERHFA. It provides an overview over the film production on rural Europe in the 20th century.
  • The MERL also ran a crowdfunding project alongside this project to rehouse some of the negatives/contact sheets we catalogued in this project. A blog was published that can be viewed here.
  • We also produced a film to attract donations.
  • £1,943 was raised to purchase conservation supplies for the negatives and contact sheets.
  • Volunteers have helped us to rehouse these negatives so far we have rehoused 2,753 negatives and 2,753 contact sheets.
  • We have worked with the University of Reading’s Academic Computing Team to ensure long-term storage provision is in place. This project has positively influenced our thinking and planning with regard to digital preservation and access, including our development of policy and workflows around digital preservation.
  • The MERL has also supported the Research Enrichment Project in terms of brief preparation, contributing to the artist selection process. We look forward to welcoming the artists to the Museum and / or making collections available to them.