Film Collections

The Museum holds a large and fascinating collection of archive film. Over 800 reels of film are stored in secure conditions designed to ensure their long-term preservation, alongside more recent deposits of digital material. To date over half of these films have been transferred to VHS video or DVD and are available to view in the Reading Room of the Museum.

The films date from the 1920s to 2005 and show tractors and agricultural machinery, harvesting and ploughing, dairying, agrochemicals and agricultural aviation, promotional films, educational and training films.

Further details of the film collections and on the smaller collections, which aren't included on the list below, can be found at the Museum of English Rural Life or by searching our online database. Many of the films are available for commercial use, please contact us for details.

Main film collections

Agricultural Aviation collection: Hardy and Collins (DX220)

Three films showing agricultural aviation, 1950s (available on VHS video)

Council for the Protection of Rural England (SR CPRE)

Four films showing countryside environmental issues, 1930s-1940s (available on VHS and DVD)

John Fowler and Co (Leeds) Ltd (TR 11FOW)

Eight films showing Fowler agricultural machinery products at work, 1920s (available on VHS video)

Ford New Holland (TR FOR)

Approximately 60 films showing Ford agricultural machinery products and Ford newsreels, 1950s-1970s (15 titles available on VHS video)

Film titles include:

Fordson Tractors: The Super Major

Fordson Newsreel: Harness Your Horsepower

Ford Tractors: Pioneering with Power

Imperial Chemical Industries (TR ICI)

Approximately 30 films showing farming and technology including the use of fertilizers, 1960s-1970s (four titles available on VHS video)

Film titles include:

Nitram guaranteed fertilizer

Sugar from salt

Remarkable story of Burnewhall Farm

Land Settlement Association (CR LSA)

Six films including Here is the Land, LSA farm in the South [possibly Sidlesham and Batchmere Estates], Newent, Gloucestershire LSA estate, LSA Newbourne Estate, Suffolk, Parade: People Places and Events, Grow with the L.S.A. (all available on DVD)

Milk Marketing Board (SR MMB)

Approximately 40 films showing milk production and promotional films, 1950s-1970s (available on VHS video)

Film titles include:

Milk is our business

The art of English cheesemaking

(Express Dairy)

Digestion and the food we eat

National Dairy Council (TR NDC)

Approximately 30 films promoting the use of dairy products and showing dairying, 1960s-1970s (available on VHS video and DVD)

Film titles include:

Supper with the Archers

English cheese and the caterer

150 years of dairying

National Institute of Agricultural Engineering (TR MAFH)

Approximately 12 films showing experimental and new developments in agricultural technology, 1940s-1950s (available on VHS video)

Film titles include:

Potato Cultivation

The Binder

Tractor Ploughing: Ridges

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (TR MAFF)

Over 460 films mainly educational films made for farmers showing latest contemporary techniques and best agricultural practices, 1930s-1980's (over 300 are available on VHS Video and DVD)

Film titles include:

Making Grass Silage

The Farmstead in the Landscape

Beware of the Bull

Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies (TR RAN)

Approximately 120 films showing Ransomes agricultural products including ploughs, implements and lawn mowers, 1935-1979 (some available on VHS video)

Film titles include:

Electric Trolley Buses in Liege

A cut above the rest (Mowers in use in Britain)

Cast iron gamble (History of Ransomes)

Singer (TR BNT)

Three films showing sewing machines, undated, (available on DVD)

More information

  • Further film collections which aren't yet available for viewing

    British Oil and Cake Mills Ltd (TR BOC)

    Approximately 40 films showing pig rearing, dairying and general livestock farming, 1960s (currently not available for viewing)

    Film titles include:

    Profitable sow management

    Early weaning of calves

    Pig feeding today

    Chilean Nitrate Corporation (TR NCC)

    Approximately 40 films showing the companies operations in Chile and the use of fertilizers, 1950s-1960s (currently not available for viewing)

    Film titles include:

    Nitrate: the story of a great discovery

    More fruit from British orchards

    Views around Santiago

    International Harvester Company of Great Britain (TR IHC)

    Approximately 60 films showing International Harvester agricultural machinery products, 1950s-1960s (currently not available for viewing)

    Film titles include:

    The New Breed

    Roots of Power

    They Work Harder You Don't

    Howard Rotavator Co Ltd (TR HOW)

    Approximately ten films showing Howard products, undated, (currently not available for viewing)

    Film titles include:

    Aseptic Cheese Cutting

    Summer Day

    Square Deal

    National Farmers Union (SR 2NFU PH6/1-3)

    Three films, 1950s-1960s (currently not available for viewing)

    National Institute for Research in Dairying (D NIRD)

    Five films collected by the National Institute for Research in Dairying , 1950s-1970s

    (currently not available for viewing)

    National Farmers Union (SR NFU)

    Three films, 1950s-1960s (currently not available for viewing)

    F W McConnel Ltd (TR MCC)

    Seven films showing McConnel agricultural products, 1960s (currently not available for viewing)

    Silsoe Research Institute (SR SRI)

    Approximately 400 films showing the work of Silsoe and agricultural products 1940s-2005 (currently not available for viewing)

    Film titles include:

    Ransomes MG Tractor Test

    Blackcurrant Harvester

    Muck spreading

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