Based at Central Library, North West Film Archive is one of the UK’s largest and longest established public film collections, and is part of the Library Service Special Collections at the Manchester Metropolitan University.

The Archive is the professionally recognised home for documentary moving images made in or about Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and Cumbria, or which reflect life in the region. These can be professional or amateur, any age, and any gauge. The region’s position at the forefront of industrialisation is reflected in the strengths of the collection, providing a powerful record of modern urban society.

The Archive contains fascinating footage from World War One which can be found by searching the online catalogue – click here. The footage can be used to inspire your own research into family history or to put faces to names you may already have on your family tree.


Footage is available in the viewing pods Central Library. For more information please contact:


The NWFA also produced a DVD – ‘The First World War – Life on the Home Front in North West England’. This is available to buy in Central Library and elsewhere – see list of to stockists here.