Work has just begun on cataloguing the written archive of the Institute of Local Television being housed at Summerhall. Included in the collection of texts are consultations from Government and broadcasting regulators and responses. In particular the Institute’s emphasis has been on communications policy affecting public service broadcasting with an emphasis on a local rather than regional scale missing in UK television. The realisation in 2010 of ‘local public service television’ (a term coined as the Institute’s objective in 1989) has involved regular assessment of frequency and spectrum use for public purpose, and latterly calls for devolution of broadcasting responsibility for services that are not UK wide, for devolution to the most relevant local level on the principle of subsidiarity.

Alongside these texts are digital copies of the films and videos from the collections of Red Star Cinema (1979-1986), TURC (1983-1986), TU/TV (1985-1987) and from Edinburgh Television and Channel Six Dundee (1999-2003) and e-tv (2003). Alongside films and videos is a growing number of arts and books programmes filmed in Scotland that are also now in the collection of the National Library of Scotland and will be publicly available through NLS.

It is hoped this digital archive will provide a reference point for study by students on the Institute’s post-graduate local TV courses. Footage will be available for editing, for compilation programmes study and provide a basis for future projects students and others might wish to work on.

The Institute’s collection includes a number of short exploratory documentaries and interviews that help illustrate the spread and commitment of local and community TV – whether as public access channels in their US, German and Swedish forms, as community TV in the Netherlands and Spain or as public and commercial local television services offered in Australia and New Zealand.

Before the arrival of fast(er) broadband and the Internet small-scale television relied on cable, terrestrial broadcasting or wi-fi senders.

But for all forms of local and community film and television across five decades the narrative has been broadly the same: to enable voices to be heard and faces seen that the larger regional, national and commercial broadcasters overlook.

Institute of Local Television Local and Community TV

Solent TV : One Year On, 2003

Institute of Local Television Local and Community TV

Stretched Limo : Edinburgh Television 2001

Institute of Local Television Local and Community TV

Crack in U S of A : Edinburgh Television 2001