Now based in a beautiful new space in the redesigned Central Library in Manchester, the North West Film Archive is the home for the moving image heritage of England’s North West.

The archive looks after over 38,000 items from the pioneer days of film in the 1890s to productions of the present day.

NWFA - Saddleworth


The collection includes a variety of content from cinema newsreels, advertising and promotional materials, documentaries and regional TV programmes about subjects as diverse as holidays and traditions, transport and local industry, wartime experiences, as well as wonderful home movies from around the region.

NWFA - StreetGames


The archive also hosts collections of photographs, taped interviews and original documents to complement the moving image collection, as well as reflecting the region’s film and cinema industries. The archive also hosts behind the scenes tours and public film screenings across the region.



A Message Home is a North West Film Archive project to try to find the families of servicemen and women in the Far East who sent personal filmed messages to family and friends in the 1940s. The series of short films made from these messages: Calling Blighty, which were made in 1944-45,  were shown in local cinemas to the delight of audiences. The archive now wants to find these service people’s families to bring them together to show the films again, and to tell their relatives’ stories.

Could you know any of these servicemen and women? Search the database here.

North West Film Archive would love to find out as much as possible about these films so please get in touch if

  • you belong to one of the families
  • you know of someone who does
  • you know something about the films or original screenings
  • you want to come to a screening later in the year

Contact Marion Hewitt at the North West Film Archive by emailing or calling 0161 247 3097.

The North West Film Archive is a part of the Library Service of the Manchester Metropolitan University.