We are delighted to announce that the museum has received a very welcome funding boost. The funding, from Research England’s Higher Education Museum and Galleries Collection Fund, is worth £104,456 a year for the next five years.  It recognises and supports the unique and significant contribution that the museum makes to the wider research community and enables this to grow.


The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is the leading moving image museum in the UK and is home to one of the most significant such collections in the world. It was formed from the collection of the renowned director Bill Douglas and his friend Peter Jewell and many donations have been added since. Experts from around the world come to examine the 90,000-strong collection at the University of Exeter’s Streatham campus. It is also a public museum, free and open to all.


The funding will be used for more staff to allow more cataloguing of the museum’s ever-growing collection. It will also enable greater digitisation of the collection so people can enjoy it remotely and give the opportunity to expand the museum’s successful stipend scheme for researchers.


More than 1,000 items are on display in the museum galleries. The collection is accessible to all and covers three centuries of moving image history, including over 23,000 film books; 1,500 stereoscope cards; 650 magic lantern slides and 23 magic lanterns. There are more than thousands of items relating to stars such as Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe, shadow puppets from around the world, an original 1896 Lumière Cinématographe, books signed by Thomas Edison and annotated by his inventor W.K.L Dickson, as well as many items used by ordinary film fans that makes the museum a people’s history of the moving image.


Museum Curator Dr Phil Wickham said: “Our mission is to follow in Bill Douglas’s footsteps and preserve these wonderful objects for the future and give the public and those researching the history of moving image access to them. Our collection – and interest from experts – has grown significantly in the past decade. People entrust their own collections to us because they know we will take very good care of them, and because they will be available for others to study and see.


“We are thrilled to have been given this funding from Research England. It will allow us to continue building this unique resource and further extend our reach to scholars, students and the public. It will allow us to take on further staff and support to enable further digitisation and cataloguing to open up the collections further, and initiatives to support visits from external researchers.”


Professor Adam Watt, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the University of Exeter’s Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, said: “The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is a key resource for experts around the world. We are thrilled to have been awarded this funding, which will allow us to increase access to our collections further. This is recognition of the brilliant work Dr Wickham and the museum’s staff do to attract donations, care for them and support world-leading research.”


Professor Lisa Roberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter, said: “The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is a unique asset to our University, the public, our community and researchers. We are delighted to receive this funding.”


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