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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To find out more about who we are and what we do, browse the questions below. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, please Email Us or phone 01522 837750

What is MACE?

The Media Archive for Central England (MACE) is the public sector screen archive for the East and West Midlands. 

We are a non-profit making company limited by guarantee and an independent registered charity.

MACE is part of a network of public moving image archives that collectively preserve the UK’s moving image heritage.

We are also an integral part of the network of public archives and record offices across the Midlands.

MACE is governed by a board of directors who are also trustees of the charity.

What are MACE’s aims?

MACE is committed to ensuring that the moving image heritage of the Midlands is preserved for future generations to enjoy and study.

MACE aims to collect, document, preserve moving image heritage of the East and West Midlands and provide public access to this material.

MACE also provides an information service to help people who are looking for film and advice on how to care for moving image materials outside the archive.

We provide many archive related services, however our primary aims are to provide:

  • A place where moving image can be preserved
  • Opportunities for communities of the Midlands (and the UK) to experience & enjoy them
  • An information hub for all things relating to moving images in the Midlands
  • Affordable public access to these moving images through our website, exhibitions, screenings and educational & community projects. 

How do I access the material held at MACE?

MACE has catalogued over 51,000 titles on the website. 4200 of these titles have video and this number grows weekly. We also hold a number of, as yet, un-catalogued collections. Contact Us if you have a specific query or to find out more.


If you have a research interest you can visit the archive to view titles from the collections free of charge. Contact us if you would like to make an appointment

Subject to copyright permission, are able to produce one-off viewing copies of titles on DVD for you to watch at home. We call this our Bespoke DVD Service. This specialist service is dependent on the condition of the material, the format it is held on as well as obtaining permission from the copyright holders to copy it.


MACE conducts screenings across the East and West Midlands of titles taken from its collections and partner archives. These screenings offer opportunities to see programmes of material often not seen in decades and have made a real stir in the communities that they have touched.


MACE material is often used in exhibitions organised by museums, and libraries across the Midlands.

Look out for MACE's name during the credit sequence at the end of a programme containing archive material.  Material from our collections can regularly be seen in programmes, both nationally and around the world.

What do MACE do?


Since the invention of film in 1895 life in the Midlands and its changing landscape has been recorded on film, video tape and digital media.  These moving images have the capacity to show us how people in the Midlands used to live and MACE exists to try to ensure that as many of these important cultural artefacts survive and can be enjoyed now and in years to come.

MACE provides a place where moving image materials can be properly looked after.  Our collections are constantly expanding as we receive donations and deposits from a range of different sources.

As well as providing a place where moving images can be cared for in the midlands we are keen to ensure that moving image collections, wherever they are held, receive the best care possible.  We are therefore happy to work with private individuals or with institutions to maximise the life span of the moving images that are in their care.

We also provide advice on where to find specific films or collections, so if you would like our help in a search you're conducting then please Contact Us.

Who are MACE's team?

MACE has nine members of full time staff and a group of regular volunteers. To read more about the team,including contact details, CLICK HERE.

Why do we need a screen archive for the Midlands?

The moving image has had a huge impact on people's lives over the last 100 years.  Film was the great new art form and recording medium of the 20th century.  Amateur film making has been a possibility since the 1920s and enabled thousands of people to record events that were important to them as well as respond creatively to the medium. Television transformed our understanding of current affairs and introduced a new form of home entertainment. 

Whether the moving images are produced by amateurs or professionals they have the potential to open a unique window on the way we have lived our lives.

For these reasons MACE is committed to preserving the moving image heritage of the Midlands for future generations to enjoy and study.

What is ‘the Midlands’?

The Midlands, is an area comprising central England that borders Southern England, Northern England, East Anglia and Wales. It is administered as the Government Office Regions of the West Midlands and East Midlands, and compromises of the following counties:

East Midlands:

Lincolnshire (except North Lincolnshire)

West Midlands:

The Metropolitan county of the West Midlands including the metropolitan boroughs of the city of Wolverhampton; Dudley; Walsall; Sandwell; the city of Birmingham; Solihull and the city of Coventry

Who deposits material?

You can, everyone and every organisation can, if you own moving images with a significance to the East & West Midlands.

MACE will acquire material from anyone and from any organisation that wishes to deposit moving images that relate in some way to the region.

We have material deposited with us from private individuals, county record offices, museums, industrial and service companies, broadcasters, producers and artists.

MACE has many years' experience in assessing the cultural value of moving images and will make an informed decision about how material you may have fits into the film making history of the Midlands.

If you have film, tape or digital material which relates to the Midlands and would like to deposit it with us for future preservation, Contact Us by email or telephone 01522 837750.

What material is held at MACE?

The material in the collection is hugely varied and ranges from early examples of film production through to DVDs produced by school children using digital technology.  The collection includes films and videos produced by both amateurs and professionals. 

We care for an ever growing number of small collections, reflecting the life and experience of the Midlands. The largest single collection in our care was donated by ITV and consists of over 70,000 individual items of regional television from the past sixty years. 

Although we are constantly increasing the number of entries on our database, it does not contain references to all the titles that are held at MACE, so if you are looking for a particular Midlands related title not catalogued on the website then please contact us.

How does MACE preserve material?

Both film and video tape are physically fragile materials.  They are easily damaged if wrongly stored or subject to excessive use.  These threats increase as the material gets older.

MACE has a team of experienced professional archivists who work to recognised standards in the conservation and preservation of materials in our care. 

The main principle of preservation in reproductive media such as film and video tape is to protect the best copy of the material (the master) in the collection by copying it to create a sub-master, which is subsequently used to produce further copies for viewing purposes.

The master copy is then held in environmentally controlled storage conditions and is not disturbed until a new sub-master copy needs to be made.  In doing so the life span of the moving image is maximised for future generations to enjoy.

Sometimes we encounter nitrate film which requires special treatment and, if the importance of the subject matter warrants it, we will arrange for duplication to film at a specialist laboratory. 

For further information about the dangers of nitrate film visit our page, How to Look After Your Films.

How does MACE select material for the archive?

The underlying theme of material archived at MACE is its relationship with the Midlands and its potential for future generations to enjoy and study.

As we continue to develop our collection we want it to reflect how the region has changed and is changing and to show how people lived and are living in the region.

This means that we are interested in films and videos that show the region or things happening in it. We want to reflect how people from the region led and lead their lives so material about any aspect of work or industry is important as are home movies, on either film or video.

We are just as keen to consider amateur material for inclusion in the collection as titles produced by professionals. Equally, the format that the moving images are held on or the date that they were produced does not affect our decision to acquire collections as our primary focus is the moving images themselves.  

Though our main collecting focus is on the tapes and films themselves we are also interested in collecting obsolete and current examples of associated technology as well as documentation that relates in some way to film production and consumption (amateur or professional) in the East and West Midlands. 

How is MACE funded?

MACE delivers most of its activity through funded projects.

MACE's key funders are currently the British Film Institute (awarding funds from the Lottery) and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Past key project funders have been the Heritage Lottery Fund, the UK Film Council Lottery, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Arts Council England, and the regional strategic agencies for museums libraries and archives: MLA East Midlands and MLA West Midlands.

We also generate income from the supply of material to media professionals, creative practitioners, museums, libraries and other non-profit companies. All of this income goes back into supporting our charitable aims.


MACE is a registered charity and we welcome donations to help us towards our charitable aims of preserving the region's moving images and providing public access. 

If every new visitor to our website donated just £2 through Just Giving, MACE would receive donations of £40,000 a year, enough to embark on a sustained digitsation programme and community project.

CLICK HERE to visit our Just Giving page and help us continue to preserve these priceless images.

How do MACE catalogue material?

MACE's collections are of limited use unless we know what images are contained within them and have an effective method of identifying what might be of interest to someone researching a specific subject.

Once film and video in our care have been viewed and researched the information we have collected is entered on our database.  The way in which that information is entered is guided by internationally recognised standards for the cataloguing of moving image titles in public archives.  There is more information about these standards in The Moving Image Archive Framework document published by the Film Archive Forum. A PDF of this document can be found HERE*.

You can search the database using the simple search tool, which appears at the top of every page on the site, or the advanced search for more specific enquiries.

When information is entered on the database against a particular title it has been rigorously checked.

*This is an external link

What should I do if I see an error on a catalogue entry?

The information is only as good as the sources that we work from and therefore mistakes can occur. If you identify an error on the database please contact Philip Leach who will be able to make any necessary adjustments to the database.

Do MACE licence footage?

MACE can, subject to copyright clearance and licensing/transfer fees, supply media professionals and creative practitioners with footage from the collection. As a not-for-profit organisation in the public sector, all income derived from these sales is used to preserve the collection and ensure it is accessible to the public.

MACE has a team of highly experience professionals who can guide you through the whole process of acquiring archive material from research, accessing viewing material to licensing.

Past programmes featuring material from MACE’s collection include:

Charlie Brooker: Videogames Changed the World (Endemol/Channel 4)
Sex, Lies and a Very British Scapegoat (ITV)
Morecambe & Wise: The Whole Story (BBC)
You Saw Them Here First (Shiver)
The Queen and I (Shiver)
Michael Wood’s History of England (Mayavision)
The Great British Story - A People's History (Mayavision)
When Playboys Ruled the World (ITV Sport)
The Secret Life of the National Grid (BBC)
Flog It! (BBC)
The Secret Life of Airports (BBC)
Andrew Marr’s History of Britain (BBC)
Nation on Film (BBC)
Panorama (BBC)
Silent Britain (BBC)
Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (Warner Bros).

But the supply of material doesn’t stop at TV programmes. MACE has also provided moving image as a back drop for a performance by the Kaiser Chiefs which was released on DVD - highlighting that archive material can be used in a variety of creative mediums.

ITV regional Collection

MACE can licence extracts of all the regional news film inserts that we hold. If you have seen material of interest please Contact Us to enquire about our transfer and licence fee costs.

ITN Source licence extracts of the small collection ITV regional programmes we hold.  Although these particular titles are licensed by ITN Source we co-ordinate the supply of this material and charge our standard transfer fees, plus an additional Access Fee.

If you are an Archive Researcher or Producer and would like to order a DVD Screener or low res MPEG4 files to view or would like to order High Res material for broadcast, please contact Eliza Richardson by email or on 01522 837750.

Other Collections

MACE holds a wealth of fabulous home movies and other professionally made titles which we do licence to raise income to fulfil our charitable aims. Once you have browsed the collections, Contact Eliza, to make an enquiry about the potential use of footage in television, films, exhibitions or projects.

Can non-profit organisations use material?

MACE offers a viewing and access service to all non-profit organisations at a discounted rate.  As a non-profit making company in the public sector itself, MACE uses all income generated to preserve the collection and increase accessibility to the public.

MACE has a team of highly experience professionals who can guide organisations through the whole process of acquiring archive material from research, accessing viewing material to supply. 

MACE has recently provided material from its collections to New Walk Museum (Leicester) Worcestershire Archives, Broadway Cinema (Nottingham), Flatpack Festival (Birmingham), Ikon Gallery (Birmingham) and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC Museum. 

Email the MACE Team with details of your project and titles of interest from our catalogue, and they will provide you with a quotation for the transfer of material and the use of the titles in your project.

I am a student. How to I access footage?

As important cultural artefacts and historical documents, moving images have become an essential tool for the academic, both in terms of research and as tools for teaching and learning.
For this reason MACE is very keen for its collections to be used by undergraduates, postgraduates and academics from all disciplines and subject areas.
Initially, browse the online catalogue to see if you find titles of interest to your research. If a video clip is not available online or you don't see footage on the topic of interest Contact Us to make an enquiry.
We also offer a free viewing service by appointment. Please do get in touch if you wish to book an appointment.

I work in education. How can I use the collections?

MACE is committed to working with teachers and other educational professionals to explore ways in which titles in its collections can be used in both the formal and informal education sectors. We are constantly looking to develop partnerships with schools and colleges and if you are interested please Contact Us to introduce yourselves.


How do I keep up to date with MACE's activities, offers & services?


We frequently update our highly popular BLOG, where you can read about our latest acquisitions and community screenings, more about specific titles from the collections, share your own comments and read about all our latest news.


We also regularly use Twitter @macearchive to tweet links to specific titles and events we are collaborating on or attending.


You can also link to our Facebook page at the bottom left of our footer or go to

And why not also Like a title from the collection you've seen so that a link can be shared with your Facebook friends? Simply press the 'Like' Button at the bottom left of the video clip.

Contact Us

Write to us at:
Media Archive for Central England
MHT Building
University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool
Interested in depositing your material with MACE? Email HERE.
Interested in Licensing Footage for broadcast or exhibition? Email HERE
Interested in Ordering a Bespoke DVD? Email HERE
General Email:
Telephone us on 01522 837750

I have a question not listed here. How do I contact MACE?

We welcome questions and comments. Please Email us here or if you would prefer to phone, please call 01522 837750. 


Text MACE10 to 70070 to donate £10 to the Media Archive of Central England