Two women at a 1950s hairdressing convention

Home movie memories

Celebrating Home Movie Day 2017
 Heather Gill

We're marking Home Movie Day 2017 on 21 October with a curated collection that includes footage of The Beatles and Winston Churchill, the Melbourne Olympics and Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. It also features Australians at home and abroad, at work and at play.

The earliest home movie footage in the NFSA collection is from 1909 and captures scenes of the Higgins family on holiday in Tasmania. Other films in the curated collection feature members of the 1950s Melbourne art scene as well as performances by strongman The Mighty Apollo, and Hal Turner as Bobo the Clown. There's also candid footage of The Beatles, shot by Australian dancer and make-up artist Dawn Swane:

Dawn Swane with The Beatles, 1965.

Home movies offer a window into our personal, unscripted moments. They show us babies and grandparents meeting for the first time; birthday parties and Christmas gatherings; family holidays; and children starting school. Seeing what is considered worthy of recording for posterity shows us what the big, important events of the day were.

World Home Movie Day was established in 2003 to celebrate the home movies that have been collected by many film archives and institutions across the globe. There are almost 6000 unique home movies titles held by the NFSA, but that number continues to grow as many family members have their films digitised and then look to donate the originals.

While the NFSA cannot accept all home movies that are offered to us, we do explore our collection to see if they could fill a gap. The condition of the films is always a very important factor, as is what information is known about the films and who shot them.

If you have home movies that you wish to offer the NFSA, see our Collection offers page.

View a selection of home movies in our Home movies curated collection