Scottish Screen was the national body for film and television in Scotland, established in April 1997. It took on the functions of the Scottish Film Council, the Scottish Film Production Fund, Scottish Screen Locations and Scottish Broadcast and Film Training, forming a unitary organisation.
Scottish Screen worked in the areas of production, development, location assistance, exhibition and festivals, training, media education and preserving the heritage and history of the moving image; developing, encouraging and promoting every aspect of film, television and new media in Scotland. Working with the Scottish Government, their goal was to establish Scotland as a major screen production centre and project Scottish culture to the world.
The Scottish Screen Archive was established in 1976 and previously a department of Scottish Screen, it has been part of the National Library of Scotland since 2007.
The main purpose of the Archive is to locate, preserve and provide access to moving images reflecting Scottish twentieth and twenty first century culture and history. In addition the Archive collects a wide range of written and photographic materials relating to the development of cinema exhibition and film production in Scotland over the past 100 years.
The Archive is a member of The International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), the International Federation of Television Archives (FIAT), and is a founder member of the UK Film Archive Forum. The SSA is also a participating member of the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN).
Principally non-fiction, the Archive's collection to date includes some 32,000 items comprising documentary, newsreel, shorts, educational, advertising and promotional films, amateur and professional productions. The material is largely on 16 mm and 35 mm, with smaller collections of 9.5 mm and 8 mm film and videotape. This collection has been built up largely through donations from all sectors of the community, from industry, the broadcasting organisations, local authorities and individual members of the public with a nucleus of material acquired from the former Scottish Central Film Library and Films of Scotland Committee.
The strengths of the collection lie in its ability to illustrate local community life, industrial history and the changing nature of leisure. The collection as a whole reflects ways in which Scotland and her people have been portrayed in film since 1896, both by indigenous and visiting filmmakers and more recently the broadcasting sector and burgeoning Scottish film industry.
The television material in the Archive includes Gaelic-language broadcast production from 1993 onwards, the acquisition of which is funded by Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gaidhlig (GMS).
Preservation is the primary function of the Archive. Purpose built film and video vaults ensure that original masters are properly stored and protected.