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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 November, 2003, 13:57 GMT
Film and TV archives put on web
The Avengers
The Avengers is among the TV classics on the site (pic: Canal+ Images UK Ltd)
Some of the UK's best-loved and most influential films and TV shows have gone on the internet as an educational resource for schools and libraries.

Clips of films ranging from Carry On Cleo to The Wicker Man, and TV shows from Cathy Come Home to The Avengers, are on the new Screenonline website.

It was set up by the British Film Institute, which looks after the national film and TV archive.

You must use a registered school or library computer to watch the clips.

The website also includes articles about screen development plus photographs and biographies of key people in TV and film history.

Cathy Come Home
Ken Loach's Cathy Come Home was a seminal TV play
Nick James, editor of Sight and Sound magazine, said: "There's a huge amount of British material that you won't have been able to see or TV or in the cinemas for a very long time.

"And now to have it at your fingertips for free is a real boon."

More than 100 hours of footage from 300 films and TV shows are on the site.

But the clips amount to just a tiny fraction of the one million hours of material in the BFI's vaults.

Early clips

BFI director Amanda Nevill said they were trying to persuade the rights holders of other archive material to let them put more on the site.

Subjects such as the birth of British film-making are covered in depth and some of the earliest British films are available to watch.

The opening of the Kiel Canal and a study of the Dover sea, both filmed in 1895, are among the early clips online, while visitors can read biographies about the people who filmed them.

Alfred Hitchcock, film adaptations of Charles Dickens books and children's TV are among the other subjects given detailed coverage.

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