Search by Keyword


Find All Records


Limit by Region

Limit by Date

Limit by Subject Area

North West England

Enter a single year e.g.1955
or a date range e.g. 1950...1954


Outside North West

Limit by Professional / Amateur

All Professional Amateur

Available in NWFA Pods


Available to watch online


NWFA Homepage

Film & Video Catalogue: Search Help

This page provides guidance about searching the Archive's main Film & Video catalogue. An explanation of terms and symbols used in the catalogue are provided, and advice is given on how to take your enquiry further, having searched the catalogue.

Keyword Search

To conduct a keyword search, enter terms or a key phrase in the keywords box. You can search for a particular subject, place, producer, or specific film title by entering relevant keywords. You can enter a single term for a broad search, or several words to narrow your search down.
For Example: The keyword "football" returned too many results for you to look through, so you could return to the keyword box and enter "football Manchester United" to limit your search to footage of a particular team.

Limit by...

Alternatively, you can limit your search by region, date, subject category or film type, by using the limit options given below the keyword search. You are also able to restrict your search to material that can be viewed online (either on the NWFA website or through the British Film Institute's 'BFI Player'), or that you can watch in the Viewing Pods at Archives+. Any combination of keywords and these optional further limits can be used.
In addition, you may wish to use the limit options and not enter a keyword.
For Example: Leaving the keyword box empty and selecting to limit your search by entering the date range "1930...1940", will return all the records within this date range.

Search Tips

If your search is unsuccessful, or has too few hits, try thinking of alternative words, e.g., instead of the word "seaside", try "beaches" or "seafront"

It is also helpful to use concrete words rather than abstract terms, e.g., for images conveying 'love', try entering terms such as "weddings" or "dancing"

Terms and Symbols

Symbols used with dates include:


This signifies that the footage is dated from around this time, but an exact date is uncertain.


This date is an approximate date of the footage, as it is the date of manufacture of the film stock on which the footage was shot. It gives and idea of the earliest possible date of the footage, but an exact date is not certain.


Footage shot across the time span of these three years, 1970, 1971 and 1972


Footage shot in 1970 as well as 1973 (not 1972).

How to take your enquiry further

If, having searched the online catalogue, you would like to take your enquiry further, it is important to note the film numbers of the titles in which you are interested. This can be found when looking at the record detail for a title. Your enquiry can be submitted or by contacting a member of our access team by telephone 0161-247 3097. For more information see our Comments and Enquiries page.