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The British Monarchy on Screen: Newsreels and the Royal Family, c. 1923-61

Author: Max Jones

Type: Case Study


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I convene the History MA Research Training Unit at Manchester: ‘Historical Research: Methods, Theory, Sources’. I decided to use newsreels about the Royal Family to introduce History MA students to issues concerning the use of newsreels as a historical source. I spent a number of hours searching the Newsfilm Online interim database, and eventually selected 8 newsreels/TV reports covering aspects of the Royal Family between 1923 and 1961. I engaged with some discussion with the Newsfilm team as to the best way to give access to the footage to students. Eventually, the Newsfilm team agreed to issue Manchester students with a group password to access the interim interface. (The Newsfilm team eventually decided group passwords are covered by the sub-licence). However, after learning that we would also be permitted to download the relevant footage onto our secure, password-protected, virtual learning environment (WebCT), I decided to pursue this option instead. I then worked with our Learning Technologist, Andrew Gold, to create a dedicated page in WebCT for a newsreel exercise. I supplied him with relevant text and links, and he downloaded the relevant films onto Manchester’s WebCT server.


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