A heritage film archive has been launched this week which compares life in East Anglia throughout the 20th century with events captured on camera across the channel in Normandy.

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Video Archive: La Mascaret (1947)

As well as containing footage from both the UEA’s East Anglian Film Archive, Archive Alive showcases a selection from the extensive archive of Pole Image Haute-Normandie in Northern France.

This collection of clips, filmed in 1947, shows the tide coming in on the Seine. This particular event is known as the strongest tide of the 20th century, a claim which is well backed up by beautiful colour photography of a barge being lifted by the waves.

Archive Alive allows visitors to compare and contrast the everyday lives of the people of East Anglia and Upper Normandy, and the impact moments of catastrophe, excitement, and celebration have on people on both sides of the channel.

Alongside the launch of Archive Alive, Pole Image Haute-Normandie launch www.archivesenligne.fr, which hosts a larger selection of films from Upper Normandy.

To see more of the archive visit: www.archivealive.org

The online resource, named Archive Alive, has been brought to life by the Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART).

It showcases a unique timeline including hundreds of digitised archive films from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, along with those recorded in Upper Normandy in France, dating from as far back as 1896 to the 1980s.

The archive preserves a shared social history including all manner of family events, public celebrations, places and people.

Users of the website at www.archivealive.org will be able to scroll through the dates to transport themselves from one decade to the next and select films by theme, place or year.

To create the archive, Norwich HEART has worked in partnership with two major film archives from both sides of the channel – the East Anglian Film Archive and Pôle Image Haute-Normandie, based in Norwich’s twin city of Rouen. Jane Jarvis, digital heritage project manager at Norwich HEART, hopes the archive will become a “source of enjoyment, education and engagement for all generations”.

She said: “With so many films at the East Anglian Film Archive and in Rouen now digitised, it has been a joy to be able to access them more easily and curate this moving image timeline of our region.

“Archive Alive is showcasing some of the ‘best bits’ of our lives caught on film over the last century providing a unique record of how we lived our lives on both sides of the channel.”

Until October 21, visitors to The Forum in Norwich can explore the website on a large interactive touch screen in the Atrium.

And until November 3 a selection from Norwich HEART’s digital heritage archive will be displayed on the big screen at Fusion.

The EU-funded digital heritage project is part of the Interreg IVA Channel Programme, which aims to foster “common citizenship” and a sense of belonging to the cross-border area between England and France.

The website is now online at www.archivealive.org. Five selected videos from the exhibition will also be shown throughout this week on our website.

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