Moving footage

Geography on film

The Society’s 100+ films, housed at the British Film Institute represent a unique record of British scientific exploration and geographical documentary film-making over a period of 57 years (1922 -1979).

The collection is unique to the Society and includes a mix of amateur and professional film, often created by the Society’s Fellows or those involved in projects supported by the Society. Digitising the Society’s film collection has ensured its protection and security for the future.

Individual films in the collection show peoples and places from around the world and provide a valuable record of lost or vanishing cultures, and geographical locations undergoing significant change. Other films link to the Society’s wider Collection, and to its role supporting field expeditions.

The film collection also includes material which is of specific relevance to black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. The Society has developed a successful programme of public engagement specifically with BME community groups and individuals, and the film collection enhances existing relationships and enables new community engagement activities to be undertaken.

The Society’s film collection has now been fully digitised as part of a Heritage Lottery Project: ‘Unlocking Britain’s Film Heritage’ and is freely available for research and enjoyment via the BFI Player.

To explore films from the Society’s collection please visit:

If you have information regarding any of the films please email

For all commercial enquiries relating to the film archive please contact