Call for Applications for 2024. Visiting Researcher Stipends at The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, University of Exeter. Deadline: Noon 18th March 2024

The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum at the University Exeter, UK, is both a public museum and a rich research resource for scholars of moving image history. The museum is named after the renowned filmmaker Bill Douglas and was founded on the extraordinary collection of material he put together with his friend Peter Jewell. In the twenty-five years since its opening, the museum has received donations from many sources and now has around 90,000 artefacts on the long history of the moving image from the seventeenth century to the present day. 

Thanks to the support of the Bill Douglas and Peter Jewell Fund we are again able to offer a small number of stipends for 2024 for scholars, researchers, and practitioners to enable research using the collections at The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. We are inviting applications for two categories of award: 

UK stipends - available to academics, postgraduate students and other researchers based in the UK, and are worth up to £500 each. 

International Stipends – available to scholars and other researchers from outside the UK and are worth up to £1500 each.

The monies are to be used for travel and accommodation costs incurred while visiting the Museum to undertake significant research that will be enhanced by access to its collections. Proposed research should contribute to publications or other demonstrable outcomes, such as films or artworks. Successful applicants will be required to write a blog post for the museum’s website about their research following their visit.   You will find details of previous years’ stipends and the blogs that stipend holders contributed at  The monies should be spent by the end of December 2024.

The museum’s collections are very varied and have the potential to enrich research in histories of film, media and visual culture, cultural and social history, audience and fan studies, media production history, women’s screen history, histories and issues of representation, and technological and labour histories of cinema.  The collections have particular strengths in ‘pre-cinema’ optical media, cinema ephemera and material culture and we also hold some production papers relating to key British independent filmmakers: Bill Douglas, Don Boyd, James Mackay and Gavrik Losey. Recent acquisitions include: Interview tapes with leading filmmakers by journalists Trevor Johnston and Nigel Floyd; a very large collection of publicity material for predominantly art house films  from the 1960s-90s from the Cambridge Arts Cinema, The Pamela Davies Collection of photographs related to the career of one of the British film industry’s leading continuity supervisors, the Townly Cooke Collection of silent film stills and ephemera, and a large collection of scripts from the Rank Library. We are particularly keen to receive applications for the study of areas of distinctive strength in the collections, such as the following:


Optical Toys

Magic lanterns

Panoramas and Dioramas, including the research papers of Ralph Hyde

Early Cinema 1895-1914 (please note that a separate one-off UK stipend in Pre and early cinema will be offered in the spring).

Charlie Chaplin

Silent Cinema, especially in the UK

Sheet Music

Star ephemera


Film and material culture, including fan material such as scrapbooks

Fiction about film

Film Press-books and campaign material

The films of Bill Douglas

Independent cinema in Britain since the 1970s

Women’s roles in film culture, including production and criticism.

However there are many other possibilities as the collection covers many areas of moving image culture.

To apply:

Please email [email protected] with a one page CV covering key academic achievements or publications or previous research and a proposal of up to 1,000 words outlining:

1) Your planned use of the museum’s collections, using the catalogue to highlight the material you wish to consult on your visit.

2) The expected outcomes from the research and its contribution to the field of study, including publication plans (or films, artworks etc).

3) An outline of the expected costings of your visit, with the amount requested for the award.

The deadline for applications is Noon on 18 March 2024. Applicants will be informed of the decision of the assessment panel within one month and will be expected to undertake their research before the end of December 2024


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