Home > Resources

References and resources
WarningWarningIn active preparation

Books and articles
Ray Allister (Muriel Forth): Friese-Greene: Close-up of an inventor. London: Marsland, 1948. A flawed and rather romanticised account of the pioneer of cinematography. John Barnes (see below) writes: 'This unsatisfactory book grossly exaggerates the importance of Friese-Greene's contribution to the invention of cinematography' and says that the relationship with Esmé Collings is 'briefly and inadequately described'. In fact, she consistently mis-spells the latter's name as Collins.
John Barnes: The Beginnings of the Cinema in England 1894-1901. 5 volumes with revisions. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1976-1998. For much of the detail about the earliest years. The standard work on the period.
Nicola Coleby (ed): Kiss & Kill: Film Visions of Brighton. Brighton: Royal Pavilion, Museum & Art Gallery, 2002. An illustrated book about film-making in Brighton, published to coincide with the opening exhibition in the newly refurbished Brighton Museum in summer 2002.
D Robert Elleray: A Refuge from Reality: The cinemas of Brighton & Hove, Hastings: Olio Books, 1989.
Allen Eyles: Brighton & Hove Cinemas. Stroud: Tempus Publishing, 2003.
Luke McKernan (ed): A Yank in Britain: The lost memoirs of Charles Urban, film pioneer. Hastings: The Projection Box, 1999. Rare autobiographical account.
Judy Middleton: Film-makers, Cinemas and Circuses at Hove. [self-published] October 2001.. Useful booklet, although contains some unexpected errors.
Visual Delights: Essays on the popular and projected image in the 19th century includes a section about G A Smith.
Frank Gray (ed): The Hove Pioneers and the Arrival of Cinema. Brighton: University of Brighton, 1996. Well illustrated short book contains essays about R W Paul, G A Smith, James Williamson and the Barnes Collection (much of the latter is now in Hove Museum).
Maire McQueeney: The Brighton Rock Picture Book . Brighton: Dining Table Publications, 1999.
Georges Sadoul: 'L'Ecole de Brighton (1900-1905): Les origines du montage, du gros plans et de la poursuite' in Cinema No 2. Paris: IDHEC, 1945. English translation, 'Early Film Production in England: The Origin of Montage, Close-ups, and Chase Sequence' in Hollywood Quarterly Vol 1, No 3, April 1946; also published as a pamphlet: British Creators of Film Technique, London: British Film Institute, 1948. This is the work that first identified the significance of the Hove pioneers and named them the 'Brighton school' (a term not reflected in the translations).
D B Thomas: The First Colour Motion Pictures. London: Science Museum, 1969. An account, mainly of Kinemacolor, based on the Charles Urban collection at the Science Museum.
N E B Wolters: Bungalow Town: Theatre and film colony. Shoreham-by-Sea: 'A Shoreham Book' [self-published], 1985. Most reliable source on film-making at Shoreham by the son of a resident at Bungalow Town.
Timothy Carder: The Encyclopaedia of Brighton. Lewes: East Sussex County Libraries, 1990. Also available online as part of the My Brighton & Hove website (see below). For general information, including some cinema references.

Not Brighton & Hove specific
Simon Brown: 'Flicker Alley: Cecil Court and the Emergence of the British Film Industry' in Film Studies 10, Spring 2007
Alan Goble: The Complete Index to World Film since 1895. Providence, RI: Bowker-Saur, 1998 (CD-ROM). Remarkably comprehensive listing of films.
Kelly's Directories, Kinematograph Yearbooks and various local history works in my own collection and in Brighton Public Library.

Online resources
Brighton & Hove Libraries' Brighton History Centre (housed in the museum building) has an extensive collection of local history material. A project to digitise the photographic collection is already appearing on the website. We are grateful for permission to use some of these photographs. However, the cabinet of Brighton & Hove City Council has voted to close the Centre. Please sign the epetition on the Council's website to keep the Centre open so that further research can be conducted.
The Royal Pavilion, Libraries and Museums Collections website has a section of photographs of artefacts and prints relating to film.
The Bioscope: Reporting on the world of early and silent cinema. A superlative blog, lively, extensive and well written.
Who's Who of Victorian Cinema is a comprehensive guide to personalities, arranged by affiliation.
Charles Urban, Motion Picture Pioneer by Luke McKernan, the section of whose doctoral thesis on Urban concerning Kinemacolor is available to download from his own site.
The My Brighton & Hove website has a collection of pages about local cinemas.
The Royal Pavilion has an online guide to filming and photography in the palace.
The Brighton Photographers website about the history of still photography in Brighton 1841-1910 is worth visiting.
Sussex PhotoHistory is a well researched and detailed survey of photographers active in Sussex in Victorian and Edwardian times, although presentation is somewhat jumbled and repetitive.
The James Gray Collection, the photographic archive of the Regency Society, has a huge number of photographs that are gvailable online.
The Complete Index to World Film since 1895 has a comprehensive listing of film titles and other details.
The London Project about 'the birth of the film business in London' has some information pertinent to Brighton & Hove.
Cinema Treasures has information about most cinemas in Brighton & Hove.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography has articles about a number of people associated with film and cinema in Brighton & Hove.

Recorded media
It Began in Brighton, a 27-minute 16mm documentary presented by John Huntley, directed by Tristram Powell and produced by Melvyn Bragg (1966) about the pioneers between 1896 and 1902. A 16mm film loan copy is available for hire from the National Film and Television Archive.
Bioscope Days, a BBC South documentary series about early cinema (1978), presented by John Huntley, covered the films of G A Smith and the archive collected by Graham Head.
Silver Screen Silent Voices, a 45-minute videocassette, presented by John Huntley, produced and distributed by Cinemedia in association with the South East Film and Video Archive (1998) , tells the story of film-making at Shoreham Beach 1914-1923. It includes extracts from A Lowland Cinderella.

Museums and archives
Hove Museum (19 New Church Road, Hove BN3 4AB) has a permanent free exhibition about early film and cinema in the area.
Brighton History Centre had extensive resources about local history. It is now closed and will be replaced by The Keep at Falmer, due to open by the end of 2013.
Screen Archive South East (University of Brighton, Grand Parade, Brighton BN2 0JY, 01273 643213, screenarchive@brighton.ac.uk), established in 1992 and formerly the South East Film and Video Archive, has a collection of more than 7,000 films and 10,000 lantern slides associated with the south-east of England.
National Media Museum (Bradford, Yorkshire BD11 1NQ) houses the national collections of film and cinema, television and other media.
BFI National Archive (21 Stephen Street, London W1T 1LN, 020 7255 1444), formerly the National Film and Television Archive, houses the national collection of films and video recordings.

Page updated 9 October 2013
David Fisher