A Kind of Seeing

At the beginning of 2017 SLIC organised a series of unique archive screenings in selected libraries throughout Scotland. The archive events, all entitled ‘A Kind of Seeing’, gave communities the opportunity to enjoy rare film footage, learn more about local history and take part in group discussions.



The libraries were able to use the special screening equipment granted to them by SLIC as part of our Film Education in Libraries project. Footage for each screening was sourced by Shona Thomson, a leading curator of archive film in Scotland. Shona hand-picked the footage from the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive.





After each screening every library hosted special discussion sessions, giving members of the community the chance to chat about their shared history. Special guests from the local area were invited to the sessions to give unique insight on the film footage.

This extraordinary cinema experience is a prime example of public libraries promoting Culture and Creativity in communities - Strategic Aim 5 in Scotland’s public library strategy Ambition & Opportunity.

Archive Events

Girvan Library presented a free screening of archive films on Monday January 30th 2017.  The films showed images of Scotland's rural and industrial past as well as some celluloid gems local to the Girvan area from the 1930s and 1950s.

The post screening discussion was also attended by special Guest Roddy Leitch, the Girvan Harbour Master.

Old photos of Wester Hailes residents - part of the SLIC Archive Event exhibition in Wester Hailes

On Wednesday February 22nd, Wester Hailes Library not only hosted a free special screening of archive films but also created their own photography exhibition. 

Footage of Scotland's urban past was shown alongside films of the Wester Hailes area from the 1980s to the 2000s, including rare shots of community arts projects and the famous Wester Hailes Carnival.

Midlothian Libraries gave locals the chance to watch a rare selection of archive films at a special event at Dalkeith Arts Centre on Thursday 22nd February 2017. Shots of Scotland’s industrial past were screened as were images of Dalkeith in the 1930s and Penicuik in the 1950s. The films were accompanied live by silent film pianist and composer Jane Gardner.

After the screening the audience enjoyed a panel discussion with special guests Sheena MacDougall of the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive and Zarya Rathe, Records, Archives and Document Management Team Lead at Midlothian Council.


Girl collecting peat on the Western IslesGirl collecting peat on the Western Isles

Western Isles Libraries presented films of Scotland’s rural past alongside scarce footage shot by islanders themselves.

Hosted by Stornoway Library on Wednesday 1st March, the unique screening was followed by a panel discussion with special guest Andy Mackinnon, UistFilm Project Director.