Sunday 27 March 2011

The perks of being a cataloguer/researcher.

In my last week at Wessex Film and Sound Archive (WFSA) me and Zoe Viney had a research trip to Salisbury. We timed it perfectly, picking the sunniest day of the week to go! I hadn't been to Salisbury before and Zoe hadn't been in years so we did a bit of exploring whilst we were there.

The reason for your visit was to try and gather more information on Eda Moore, an amateur filmmaker from Salisbury whose films are held in WFSA. I love her films as they cover a wide date range, from the 1930s through to the 1970s/1980s and cover a wide range of subjects. The films which we catalogued though were all about Salisbury. This was because the project 'Revitalising the Regions' is all about films from Hampshire and the surroundings regions, including Dorset. Her films about Salisbury show local events, carnivals, parades, processions etc such as the clip shown below.

She also filmed her travels, including many visits back to South Africa.  Unfortunately due to the nature of the project I was employed on, I couldn't really justify spending time sitting watching all of these but I did have a peak at a few of them and wish I'd had time to watch them all! 

Eda Moore herself, though, was proving a good deal more elusive than her films.  We couldn't find out much biographical information about her at all.  So, a trip to Salisbury was called for - oh the hardships of being a film cataloguer/researcher!  The first stop was at Salisbury Local Reference Library where we found lots of useful information, mostly through an obituary for her we found on the microfilm for the Salisbury Journal.  We found the obituary because Zoe had found out her date of death through Ancestry - I'm ashamed to admit that it hadn't occurred to me to use something like Ancestry, some archivist eh!?

Our next port of call was Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum, whom I had been in touch with via e-mail.  They had informed us they had a box of archive material about Eda Moore's father, Francis John Moore, who had been Mayor of Salisbury 1953/1954.  They suggested we might want to look through the material as it included a large book compiled of press cuttings.  Another confession - I totally forgot to get in touch and set up an appointment so we just popped in when we were there.  Terrible I know, just dropping in like that, but thankfully the staff there were super friendly and helpful!  We had a walk round the museum (which I'd highly recommend) sat outside Salisbury Cathedral for lunch and then got to look through the material.  It proved very illuminating and gave us lots of useful information - my favourite nugget was a page written by Eda Moore herself where she talks about carrying her Bolex around in her handbag with her.  I love it!  I have this image now of this very genteel lady, going to official events at the invite of her father the Mayor, all the while having her camera in her bag so she could film!

Whilst in Salisbury we also fitted in a visit to the Cathedral which was absolutely beautiful, both inside and out.  My photos, as usual, don't do it justice.  It was so satisfying to be able to fill in some gaps in the story of Eda Moore before finishing up at WFSA.  I'm going to miss my colleagues, and the films of course!, but I know I can keep checking out the WFSA Flickr to see what's new.

1 comment:

  1. The pics have come out really well, we had a perfect day for a visit really, and finally able to put Eda Moore to rest - an all round productive day!