Dr Sian Barber

Personal profile

Research Interests

My research interests revolve around film and social and cultural history. I am particularly interested in British cinema and in the practices of film censorship and cinema exhibition. My current research focuses on the work of the British Board of Film Censors in the 1970s and maps their censorship policy through the individual film files held within the BBFC archives. I have written and published on 1970s British cinema and was part of the AHRC-funded 1970s project at the University of Portsmouth which investigated aspects of 1970s visual culture.  

I am also interested in the complexities of cultural history in an online environment and the challenges posed by websites and the internet to students, scholars and methods of research. I am currently working full-time on two funded projects which engage with the issues of digital curation and film and television archiving.

The BUFVC federated search project  

The first project is in collaboration with the British Universities Film and Video Council and funded by the AHRC and is the creation of a federated search environment which harmonises the 9 existing databases held and curated by the BUFVC. This project draws upon the development of innovative search techniques which foreground the needs of a variety of users. As part of this project, I have undertaken extensive user testing to find out how different users engage with database material and how such search engines can best provide effective and efficient results.

EUscreen project

The EUscreen project is an EU-funded initiative which brings together 28 different archive, academic and technical partners from all across Europe to create and deliver an online archive of European television history. My role on the EUscreen project is to work with John Ellis and Rob Turnock to help deliver the content selection policy for this EU-funded initiative. As well as working closely with the archives and broadcasters who provide content, I also undertake project dissemination within the academic community, and will be offering a curated exhibition of some of the EUscreen material in a comparative virtual showcase which will be available on the project website.


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